Poll: Palestinians Back Rocket Fire

Most Palestinian Arabs would favor resuming rocket fire at Israel if it does not lift its Gaza blockade, finds new survey.

Ben Ariel,

Rockets fired from Gaza
Rockets fired from Gaza
Reuters

Most Palestinian Arabs would favor resuming rocket fire at Israel if it does not lift its Gaza blockade, although support for armed confrontation is dropping off, according to a poll published Monday by AFP.

"An overwhelming majority of 80% supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended," said the survey of 1,200 Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

Conducted a month after the end of Israel’s self-defense Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the poll says 44 percent of respondents saw armed confrontation as the best way to “end Israeli occupation” and set up a Palestinian state.

It said that 29 percent believed negotiations were the best option, while 23 percent favored non-violent resistance.

The poll, carried out between September 25-27 and with a margin of error of three percentage points, reflected a falloff in support both for Hamas which rules Gaza and for violence, according to AFP.

PSR said that in a similar survey a month earlier, in the immediate aftermath of the war, 53 percent backed armed confrontation.

Asked how they would vote if a general election were held now, 39 percent of those polled said they would support Hamas, down from 46 percent a month ago.

The rival Fatah of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would win 36 percent, up from 31 percent in August, the survey found.

In a presidential race, however, Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh would receive 55 percent support compared to 38 percent for Abbas.

Asked if Israel won the July-August war, or Hamas -- which fired rockets deep into Israel -- 69 percent handed victory to the Hamas in the latest survey, down from 79 percent last month.




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