A new poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that while Gazans have grown more disillusioned with Hamas and terror over the past month, West Bank Palestinians are more enthusiastic about terror.
According to the summary provided by the center:
An overwhelming majority of 80% supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended. Support for launching rockets drops in the Gaza Strip to 72%. This means that (if the poll weighted the populations of the two sectors properly) that the percentage of West Bankers who support rocket attacks against Israeli civilians is about 84%.
A majority of 57% believe that launching rockets from populated areas in the Gaza Strip is justified and 39% say it is unjustified. Among Gazans, belief that it is justified to launch rockets from populated areas drops to 48% while increasing in the West Bank to 62%.
Support for terror and armed conflict is still very high, but trending downwards, as disenchantment with Hamas grows. A large majority of 81% prefers “Hamas’ way of resisting occupation.” Support for Hamas’ way stood at 88% one month ago.
63% favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank and 34% oppose that. One month ago, support for this transfer stood at 72%. (I don’t have details on the breakdown of populations for these questions.)
Other interesting findings:
The percentage of Gazans who say they seek immigration to other countries stands at 44%; in the West Bank, the percentage stands at 22%.
Only 23% say there is press freedom in the West Bank and an identical percentage say there is press freedom in the Gaza Strip.
Only 29% of the Palestinian public say people in the West Bank can criticize the authority in the West Bank without fear. By contrast, a larger percentage of 35% say people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities in Gaza without fear.
The Western perception that Mahmoud Abbas’ PA is more tolerant and liberal than Hamas is simply not reflected in these poll results.
Moreover, the relative intransigence of West Bank Palestinians compared to Gazans shows that the war didn’t radicalize the Gazans as much as it radicalized the people who were not directly affected.