Survey indicates majority of Palestinians prefer Hamas to govern Gaza Strip post-war

64 percent in the West Bank and 52 percent in the Gaza Strip would elect Hamas to be the governing power once the war ends.

By Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon

A majority of Palestinians want Hamas to retain control of the Gaza Strip after its war against Israel ends, according to a new poll.

“Gazans’ support for continued Hamas control over the Gaza Strip has increased to more than 50 percent, a 14-point rise” during the past several months, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a nonprofit think tank that tracks public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza.

“Given the magnitude of the suffering in the Gaza Strip, this seems to be the most counter intuitive finding of the entire poll.”

The poll, which surveyed 1,580 adults in early March, determined that “almost all Palestinians think Israel is committing war crimes while almost all believe Hamas is not committing war crimes in the current war,” a number that has remained steady throughout the conflict.

While support for Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel dropped by 11 points in the West Bank compared to three months ago, the numbers rose by 14 points among those living in war-torn Gaza.

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As the war drags into its sixth month, a rising number of Palestinians in Gaza say they expect Hamas to win, an increase of about one-third since the last survey was taken in December.

Around 38 percent of those living in Gaza say they expect the war to continue in the face of U.S. and international efforts to ink a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

“When asked about their own preferences for the party that should be in control in the Gaza Strip after the war, 59 percent (64 percent in the West Bank and 52 percent in the Gaza Strip) selected Hamas,” the poll found.

Support for “the return of Hamas” in the Gaza Strip “reaches 63 percent, with a 7-point increase in the Gaza Strip compared to only 2-point increase in the West Bank.”

Three months ago, just 38 percent of those living in Gaza expressed support for continued Hamas control in Gaza, while 75 percent of those in the West Bank said the same.

Support for Hamas dropped by 11 points in the West Bank compared to three months ago, though both sets of Palestinians overwhelmingly continue to support Hamas’s opening terror strike on Israel.

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“The change in the preferences of the Gazans, with a 14-point increase among them selecting Hamas today, is one of the most intriguing findings of the current poll,” the survey group wrote. “But it is consistent with the increase, indicated above, in the percentage of Gazans who think Hamas will win the current war.”

Palestinian support for Hamas’s performance during the course of the war “remains stable at 70 percent,” with a slightly higher percentage of satisfaction being offered by those living in the West Bank. Sixty-two percent of those in Gaza said they remain satisfied with Hamas’s performance.

“Support for Hamas, while indeed stable for the total, has in fact dropped in the West Bank by 10 points, from 85 percent three months ago to 75 percent today,” according to the poll. “The opposite happened in the Gaza Strip: satisfaction with Hamas increased by 10 points.”

Support for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority government remains historically low. Just 11 percent expressed support for the Palestinian Authority with Abbas in power, while 13 percent expressed support for it without Abbas at the helm.

When asked who is most likely to rule the Gaza Strip when the war ends, 59 percent in total said Hamas, including 63 percent of those in the West Bank and 52 percent in Gaza.

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