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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

'Palestinians' strongly favor Hamas - Fatah reconciliation

Someone had better call the White House and the Prime Minister's office and hold up all that aid money for Fatah. If the 'Palestinian people' get their way, Hamas and Fatah are going to kiss and make up.

The 'Palestinian' news agency Maan reports on the results of a poll that indicates that an overwhelming majority of 'Palestinians' want Hamas and Fatah to reconcile and sees neither of their governments as being legitimate. The poll indicates that the 'Palestinians' have become disillusioned with politics and trust nobody:
According to a new poll by Fafo, Palestinians see national reconciliation as more important than peace talks with Israel. Eighty-five per cent of those polled would like to see negotiations between Fatah and Hamas. Although a higher proportion of Hamas voters (91%) are in favor of such talks, reconciliation between the two parties also attracts strong support among Fatah followers (73%), a press release from Fafo says. Fifty-eight per cent say they want peace negotiations with Israel, which is a decline by 20 percentage points from December 2006. People in Gaza and those who vote for Hamas are less likely to support talks with Israel than others, the press release adds.

Palestinians are in disagreement on the formation of the recent government. Thirty-one per cent of the Palestinians have little or no trust in the emergency government decreed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in mid-June.

A similar share of the population is distrustful of the Hamas government in Gaza, Fafo's press release says. Thirty-seven per cent think Fayyad’s government is Palestine’s legitimate government, while 28% believe Haniyeh’s Hamas government is legitimate. The remainder of those polled – 35% - believes neither government is legitimate. Both governments receive the highest legitimacy scores in Gaza while a larger share of people in the West Bank (41%) think neither government is legitimate.
Abu Mazen is pushing for new elections, but that doesn't appear to be an answer either:
It is unclear whether parliamentary elections would help the situation, Fafo says. If parliamentary elections were to be held, 48% think that would have a positive effect on the current political situation, while 26% believe such elections would make things worse. If elections were to take place, as many as 40% of the electorate would chose not to cast their votes, which is an increase of 12 percentage points from Fafo’s poll in December 2006.

If elections took place today, however, Fatah would win a majority of the popular vote by a clear margin, Fafo's poll results show. Fatah would receive 45% of the votes of those polled, which is level with the support recorded by Fafo’s poll in December 2006. Hamas, on the other hand, drops 6 percentage points over the previous poll, receiving 22% of the votes today. Fourteen per cent of the respondents said they did not know which party to support. Fatah received approximately the same percentage of votes in both areas, gaining as much in the West Bank as it has lost in Gaza, when compared with the December poll. On the other hand, Hamas has lost 9% in the West Bank and gained 3% popularity in the Gaza Strip. Today, 15% of West Bankers and 34% of Gaza dwellers would have voted for Hamas, as compared with respectively 24% and 31% in December 2006, this poll says.
And there's greater support for an Islamist government in Judea and Samaria than there is in Gaza, probably because in Gaza they now have an Islamist government and know what it means:
Forty-four per cent of the Palestinian population said that they want to establish Islamic rule of law in Gaza. 89% of these want the same for the West Bank.
The full poll results may be found here.


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