Poll: Vast Majority of Palestinians Support Violent Approach to Israel
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- 2012 Dec 17
A new poll from the Arab World Research and Development shows that the vast majority of Palestinians believe the best way to handle Israel and achieve independence is armed force, the Times of Israel reports. Of 1,200 Gaza and West Bank Palestinians surveyed, an overwhelming 88 percent believe the result of Operation Pillar of Defense -- Israel's eight-day operation against Hamas terror targets in Gaza last month -- proved that armed struggle is the best means of gaining Palestinian independence. The Palestinians' successful U.N. nonmember statehood bid last month was also viewed overwhelmingly positively, adding popularity to both Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah. But for the first time since 2006, more West Bank Palestinians support the political approach of Hamas as opposed to that of Fatah and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. While Abbas tends to favor a two-state solution reached by negotiations, Hamas -- recognized internationally as a terrorist group -- refuses to recognize Israel and vows eternal jihad against the Jewish "infidels" that reside there. Interestingly, more Gazans, 40 percent, said they preferred Fatah's approach to that of Hamas, which rules over them. Thirty-seven percent of Gazans said Hamas' approach was better.