News / Middle East

Hamas Popularity Surges Over Gaza, Poll Finds

FILE - A new poll shows strong Palestinian support for Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel. Palestinians carry the body of a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August.
FILE - A new poll shows strong Palestinian support for Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel. Palestinians carry the body of a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August.
Reuters

Militant group Hamas would sweep Palestinian elections if they were held today after its support soared during seven weeks of war with Israel in Gaza, an opinion poll published Tuesday found.

The independent, nonprofit Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research said its poll showed Islamists clearly leading presidential and parliamentary polls. It marked the first time since Palestinians last voted eight years ago, when Hamas won power in Gaza.

Most Palestinians surveyed said they preferred Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel rather than peace negotiations, which are favored by Fatah, once the dominant Palestinian political movement and one backed by the West.

The views, collected among over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, show an unprecedented popular shift toward Hamas as tensions with Fatah boil.

Fatah, a largely secular party that governs from Ramallah in the West Bank, accused Hamas on Saturday of putting hundreds of its supporters in Gaza under house arrest during the war and shooting at those who tried to flee Israeli bombings.

The two parties fought street battles in Gaza in 2007, a year after Hamas won parliamentary polls. The fighting left hundreds dead and hardened animosity between the parties.

No national elections planned

There have been no national elections since the split and there are no plans for any, despite steps taken in April to forge a unity government, including a consensus on policies.

The new poll showed Hamas' former premier, Ismail Haniyeh, would win 61 percent of votes in a two-way race against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Fatah chief would take just 32 percent of the vote, the survey found.

More than half (53 percent) of respondents said an armed approach would help gain a Palestinian state, as opposed to 20 percent who said they supported non-violent means.

Ensconced in Gaza, Hamas has waged three wars against Israel while Fatah has pursued on-off talks, mediated by the United States, which so far have failed to secure an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Hamas' charter does not recognize Israel and seeks a state in the whole of ancient Palestine, including Israel.

Suspicion between Fatah and Hamas grew earlier this month after Israel's internal security service said it foiled a Hamas plot to launch a coup in the West Bank. Abbas has called for an investigation, while Hamas denies any plot.

A rare rally Saturday by thousands of Hamas supporters in Ramallah passed without incident under the watchful eyes of plain-clothes Fatah forces, although the Islamists complained that several of its backers were arrested afterward.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virgiinia
September 02, 2014 1:56 PM
If the Gaza population likes to be used as human shields, more power to them. It sounds as if the whole lot of them are willing to 'pay in blood' to see the end of Israel, and Hamas seems willing to spill the civilian population's blood without thinking twice.I cannot fathom how any single group of people (Palestinians) could so utterly hate another group (Israelis) so much, that they are willing to die to see the other group destroyed. Such reckless blind hatred is not in the realm of a sane individual of sound mind.

I view Hamas as cowardly, not even close to legendary status, if they would use the people around them as shields. Perhaps it is my upbringing, and experience in the military, that you stand and face your foe, not hide behind the skirts of unarmed civilians. Then, to slaughter anyone believed to aid the 'enemy', even on barely circumstantial evidence as someone Else's word, they would execute their own people. Hamas rules by fear, and they will only stay in power as long as the populace fears them. Any showing of courage and resistance against what Hamas wants, and the resisters are killed. That is not how one governs. Hamas must fear its own ability to stay in power, as most dictators do, suspecting everyone and killing anyone who opposes their will. Either that, or they are simply blood-thirsty savages. In either case, they are not Legendary. Not even close.Except in the mind of Islamists. Takes a blood thirsty savage to know one.

That independent non-profit Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research's opinions are clearly swayed and hardly unbiased.
With that sort of thinking, I see no future for Palestinians, as their children will be dead after being used as human shields, if Hamas has their way. Along with the in-fighting between Hamas and Fatah, they are a doomed people. Secular power struggles divides a people and creates more bodies... more 'blood to spill' for the 'cause'.

by: meanbill from: USA
September 02, 2014 11:27 AM
Truth be told... Hamas has become legendary in the Islamic world, and the myth of Israel's invincibility has been debunked, and the Palestinians see a different future for themselves and their children, and they know freedom is possible if they are willing to pay the cost of it with their blood... (Watch out for the Israeli broken promises, though?).... (at least the world is watching what Israel does now).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs