According to poll conducted by Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre, the war in Gaza has increased the popularity of Hamas and decreased the support for Fatah.
The results of the public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) during the period 29-31 January, 2009 show that the majority of respondents (46.7%) believes that Hamas came out of the war victorious compared with only 9.8% who said that Israel won the war. Over one-third, 37.4%, said that neither side achieved victory in this war.
When asked if PLC elections were held today, the percentage of those who would vote for Hamas rose to 28.6% in this poll compared with 19.3% last April. On the other hand, the popularity of Fatah Movement declined from 34% last April to 27.9% in this poll.
This change was also reflected in the level of public trust in the two movements. Trust in Hamas rose from 16.6% last November to 27.7% in this poll. With regards to Fatah, popular trust in the movement declined from 31.3% to 26% in the same period. It is clear from the poll that the rise in Hamas’ popularity is due to an increase in its popularity in the West Bank – it rose from
12.8% last November to 26.5% in this poll.
However, a similar poll conducted by the Palestinian Center For Public Opinion has produced significantly different findings. According to this study:
The rate of support for Fateh (40.6 %) among the Palestinians lies now higher than that for Hamas (31.4 %). The rate of Fateh’s popularity in Gaza Strip, established at (42.5 %), lies much higher than that of Hamas on its own terrain, reaching namely the rate of (27.8 %). The same trend has been found in the West Bank, where Fateh scored (39.2 %) of the Palestinians’ support, whilst Hamas has to content itself with only (23.7 %).
Another important finding of the PCPO poll is that “the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians, (88.2 %), are for the present in favor of a Palestinian-Israeli truce, specifically (86.1 %) in Gaza Strip and (89.6 %) in the West Bank.” Contrast that with the JMCC poll which concludes that:
Israel’s war on Gaza contributed to an increase in support for military action against Israel. The percentage of respondents who believe that locally-made rockets help achieve the Palestinian national goals rose from 39.3% last April to 50.8% in this poll, with a decrease in the percentage of respondents who believe that the rockets harm national interests from 35.7% last April to 20.8% in this poll.
In the same trend, the percentage of those who support military operations against Israel targets as an appropriate response under the current political conditions increased from 49.5% last April to 53.5% in this poll. Moreover, this poll found that the percentage of supporters of bombing operations against Israeli civilians increased from 50.7% to 55.4% for the same period.
According to the JMCC poll results, the war led to an increase in the percentage of those who oppose peace negotiations. Nearly 41% (40.9%) of respondents polled opposed peace negotiations compared with 34.7% in a JMCC poll conducted last November.