Abbas, Fatah popularity drop in West Bank in favor of Hamas — survey

1. Abbas Israel Visit
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between June 22 and 25 has shown a significant change in the domestic balance of power in favor of Hamas and its leadership after Fatah had managed to restore some of the popularity it had lost in the aftermath of the April 2021 cancellation of the legislative and presidential elections, the May 2021 Israeli war on Gaza, and the killing of the opposition figure Nizar Banat at the hands of the Palestinian security services.اضافة اعلان

Today, Hamas and Fatah enjoy almost the same level of public support, with the gap narrowing to 1 percentage point in favor of Hamas after it was 6 points in favor of Fatah in March 2022. It is noticeable that the drop in Fatah’s popularity has occurred in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, though the drop has been greater in the latter. Fatah’s declining popularity is evident in two other ways.

For one, the gap in popularity between the head of Fatah, President Mahmoud Abbas, and head of Hamas Ismail Haniyyeh, has now reached 22 points in favor of Haniyyeh after it was only 16 points three months ago. Moreover, the demand for Abbas’ resignation from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has risen to over three quarters while those still in favor of Abbas have dwindled in size to less than one fifth of the public. Another indicator of Fatah’s decline can be seen when looking at the widening gap between those who think Hamas is the more deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people compared to those who think “Fatah under Abbas” is more deserving than Hamas. Today, the gap stands at 10 percentage points in favor of Hamas compared to just two points in favor of Hamas three months ago.

In Palestinian-Israeli relations, the results indicate a significant decline in support for the two-state solution. The results show one of the likely reasons for the decline: a significant increase in the belief that a two-state solution is no longer feasible or practical due to settlement expansion, rising to 70 percent. But the findings also indicate a similar decline in support for a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians, indicating a hardening of public attitudes similar to what was observed in mid-2021 in the aftermath of the Israeli war on Gaza. Support for a return to an armed uprising is also rising to form a clear majority, reinforced by a broad support for the recent shootings inside Israel by individual Palestinians who did not belong to known forces and movements. However, there are significant differences in the attitudes of Gazans compared to West Bankers, where the largest percentage of the latter remains opposed to armed attacks.

However, it is worth noting that the percentage of those viewing positively the recent “confidence-building” measures between the PA and Israel has risen to about two-thirds. Moreover, despite the rising tension over Al-Aqsa Mosque, the majority continues to view the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a national conflict, over land and sovereignty, rather than a religious conflict.

Read more Region and World
Jordan News