Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh Israel news photo: Flash 90

A recent poll conducted among Palestinian Authority Arabs has found that a majority of residents of Hamas-controlled Gaza blame their leaders, not Israel, for the fuel crisis in the region.

The poll, which was conducted by Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD), was released on Saturday.

When asked ‘Who do you blame the most for the fuel crisis in Gaza?’ 48.4 percent of respondents said Hamas and its government in Gaza were responsible for the crisis. 21.1 percent blamed Israel, which last week transferred diesel to Gaza, and 11.6 percent said the PA leadership under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was responsible.

Participants were also asked who they think is playing the most positive role to resolve the crisis, and Abbas’ leadership received more than a quarter of the votes with 25.5 percent. Israel followed with 21.5 percent, and Hamas only received 19.9 percent of the vote.

Respondents were asked to evaluate the overall performance of PA leaders, and 43.3 percent said Abbas’ performance was positive. In contrast, Hamas’ prime minister in Gaza, Ismael Haniyeh, received 40.5 percent negative feedback and only 28.3 percent positive feedback.

59.1 percent of respondents said they approve of Abbas’ performance, while Haniyeh received a 53.3 percent disapproval rate.

At the same time, most respondents gave the PA government under Prime Minister Salam Fayyad a negative rating in fields such as improving economic conditions (33.2 percent), providing job opportunities (48.7 percent), improving the performance of the government institutions (32.2 percent) and achieving transparent financial accounting (41.8 percent).

Haniyeh’s government received negative ratings as well, with 49.9 percent saying he failed to improve economic conditions and 61.5 percent saying he preformed negatively in providing job opportunities. As well, 47.7 percent negatively rated him in terms of improving the performance of the government institutions, and 49.2 percent said he failed in achieving transparent financial accounting.

The poll also addressed the split between Hamas and Fatah, with respondents being asked whether they believe that Fatah is serious about ending the division. 58.4 percent said they believed Fatah was serious about ending the conflict, where as 50 percent said they did not believe Hamas was serious about ending the conflict.

Abbas also enjoys political popularity, according to the poll, with 37.6 percent of respondents saying they would elect him as prime minister given the choice. Haniyeh achieved 16.2 percent while Fayyad only achieved 8.4 percent.

Abbas’ Fatah party would also achieve 44.1 percent of the votes should legislative elections be held today, with Hamas far behind at 16.2 percent and the Islamic Jihad with only 2.3 percent.

In terms of presidential elections, as well, Abbas received a majority with 37.6 percent. Haniyeh achieved 12.1 percent while arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, often considered a frontrunner despite being jailed in Israel, received only 10.5 percent. Fayyad achieved 4.7 percent while Hamas’ politburo chief Khaled Mashaal received just 2.0 percent.

The poll was conducted among 1,380 PA Arabs in Gaza and the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.