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Poll: Support for armed struggle against Israel surges among Palestinians

The undated file photo shows Palestinian fighters with the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas resistance movement, marching during a military parade in Gaza City.

A new opinion poll shows that public support for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and armed confrontation as the best means to end Israeli occupation has increased among Palestinians.

The results of the poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) come as Israel's brutal onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip continues for the eighth month. 

The poll found that support for armed struggle rose by eight percentage points to 54 percent among those surveyed in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

The opinion poll showed  support for Hamas also climbed by six percentage points to 40 percent and the Gaza-based group enjoyed more support than the Palestinian movement Fatah, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, with 20-percent backing.

Walid Ladadweh, head of the Survey Research Unit at PSR, said the rise in support for Hamas and armed action is a reaction to Israel’s months-long destruction and killing in Gaza.

Ladadweh said the poll reflected dissatisfaction with the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), chaired by Abbas, who has long sought to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and rejects armed struggle, which is viewed by Hamas as a failed approach.

The poll found that more than 60 percent supported the PA’s dissolution and 89 percent favored the resignation of Abbas.

Moreover, the survey found that two-thirds of voters praised as a “correct decision” the retaliatory attacks by Palestinian resistance groups against the occupied territories in October last year.

The poll showed that about 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza had lost a relative or had a relative that had been injured in the war.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza onslaught on October 7, 2023 after Hamas-led resistance groups carried out a historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 37,232 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 85,037 others in the Gaza Strip.

The Tel Aviv regime has imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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