Poll: Hamas popularity goes up after Gaza offensive
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-10 02:55:58   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

    GAZA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian poll published on Monday said that the popularity of Islamic Hamas movement in the Palestinian territories increased since the end of a 22-day Israeli military offensive on Gaza on Jan. 18.

    The poll conducted in early March by the Palestinian Policy Institute said that Ismail Haneya, the deposed prime minister of Hamas government in Gaza, has become slightly more popular than West-supported President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Since the beginning of the Israeli military air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, Haneya as well as most senior Hamas leaders have been hiding underground in fear that Israeli might target them.

    The poll said that Haneya was supported by 47 percent of the nearly 1,300 surveyed, as opposed to 45 percent for Abbas. Before the operation on Gaza, Abbas was more popular by a margin of 10 percent.

    However, the poll said if Israel frees jailed Fatah member Marwan Barghouti, Abbas would get 61 percent of the vote, as opposed to 34 percent for Haneya.

    On the whole, Fatah strength was down two percentage from December's 40 percent, while Hamas support rose from 28 percent to33 percent, said the poll.

    Two thirds believed that a Hamas election victory would lead Israel to tighten controls on Hamas-controlled areas, while a similar number said that a Fatah victory would not bring an end to the blockage of supplies to Gaza.

    Seventy-one percent of those surveyed by the Palestinian poll acknowledged that they were worse off after the end of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Editor: Yan
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