A majority of Palestinian Authority Arabs supported a recent murderous terror attack against Israeli civilians, according to a new poll conducted in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The survey was funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) randomly polled 1,270 adults from September 30 to October 2. The survey immediately followed the expiration of Israel’s 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in territories, which ended on September 26, and came while PA officials were deciding whether to continue or abandon direct negotiations that had begun with Israel earlier in the month.
It also followed by several weeks two bloody attacks by Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades operatives who shot Israeli civilians driving on Highway 60 in Judea and Samaria. Four Jews were murdered, including a pregnant woman, on August 31 just after dusk at the Bani Nayim junction two miles south of the twin Jewish Judean communities of Kiryat Arba-Hevron.
The next night, terrorists shot and wounded two more Jews in a second attack on the same road a few minutes north of Jerusalem, near the Rimonim junction in Samaria.
Among the respondents, 51 percent supported the murderous terror attacks by Hamas operatives on Israeli civilians near the Bani Nayim junction, with only 44 percent opposed. There was higher support for the attack among respondents from Gaza (61 percent) than in Judea and Samaria (44 percent).
There was overwhelming opposition to the PA security crackdown on Hamas that followed the murders: 76 percent of the respondents opposed the crackdown, and only 20 percent expressed support.
In addition, only 39 percent of respondents said they believed that the motivation behind the attack was Hamas’s “resistance” to the “occupation” and settlers; nearly half -- 49 percent -- said they believed the terrorist group was driven by its desire to derail Washington’s launch of the direct talks between Israel and the PA.
A clear majority of 66 percent agreed with Hamas's motivation, in fact, and responded that it wants the PA to pull out of those direct talks; only 30 percent supports PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas continuing negotiations with Israel.
More people in Judea and Samaria than in Gaza said they wanted to abandon the negotiations with Israel-- 68 percent in Judea and Samaria and 62 percent in Gaza.