Hamas members march with rockets in Gaza. (Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90) Palestinians march with rockets in Gaza. (Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90)
Palestinians march with rockets in Gaza. (Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90)
Hamas prepares to launch rockets on Israel. (Photo: Abed Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas prepares to launch rockets on Israel. (Abed Khatib/Flash90)

Despite years of peace negotiations, the Palestinian public still believes the best way to deal with Israel is through violence.

The Palestinians continue to maintain violent and negative feelings towards Israel despite decades of peace negotiations and attempts at reconciliation, a recent poll shows.

The results of the latest poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) and published on Wednesday, shows that the Palestinians believe that a Palestinian state will not be established in the near future and that an armed conflict against Israel is the proper path to take.

In the absence of viable negotiations, 82% support joining international organizations, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), from which the Palestinians could pursue their diplomatic warfare against Israel ; 68% favor resorting to what they term “popular non-violent resistance,” meaning the use of rocks and fire-bombs against Israelis; 48% support return to an armed intifada, and 43% support dissolving the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Three months ago, support for a return to armed intifada stood at 56%, while nine months ago, before Operation Protective Edge, it was at 41%.

Vast Majority Still Support Hamas Terror

The poll, which was conducted among 1,262 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations, shows a majority of 74% favoring Hamas’ way of resisting the so-called Israeli ‘occupation,’ meaning they support the use of terror; this percentage stood at 79% three months ago. Furthermore, 56% favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed method to Judea and Samaria, as opposed by 40%. Three months ago support for this transfer stood at 62%.

Ashkelon women take cover from Hamas rocket fire. ( Edi Israel/Flash90)

Ashkelon women take cover from Hamas rocket fire. ( Edi Israel/Flash90)

Despite these militaristic views, Palestinians are losing faith in Hamas’ claim that it won the summer 2014 war with Israel. Acceptance that Hamas was victorious dropped from 66% three months ago to 60% in this poll; 24% believe that both sides were losers. In the Gaza Strip, only 51% say Hamas came out a winner, as opposed to 66% six months ago.

Similarly, the percentage of satisfaction with the achievements of the campaign against Israel, considering the human and material losses sustained by the Gaza Strip, dropped from 42% three months ago to 37%. In the Gaza Strip, 60% are dissatisfied with the war achievements.

Nonetheless, a majority of 68% supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade do not end.

Regarding any possibility of a finalized peace deal with Israel in the near future, 60% say that the two-state solution is no longer practical due to Israeli settlement expansion as opposed to 38% who believe it still to be relevant. Similarly, 71% believe that the chances for establishing a Palestinian state next to the State of Israel in the next five years are slim or non-existent.  Only 31% support, and 68% oppose, the abandonment of the two-state solution.

These views are not surprising, as an overwhelming majority of 82% believes the allegation that Israel is evil and and wishes, in the long term, to annex the lands liberated in 1967 in Judea and Samaria and to expel the Arab population or deny them their rights.

When asked about the long-term aspirations of the PA and the PLO, 63% said that it is to recover all or parts of the land, while 28% said it was to conquer the State of Israel and kill most of the Jews.

The poll also gauged Palestinian assessment regarding life under PA and Hamas rule. Their opinions have not varied in the past three months. They consider the Palestinian leadership corrupt and dangerous, they are bitterly disappointed with their lives under the PA, they believe they have no real freedom under either the PA or Hamas rule, and a large segment is contemplating emigration.

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from the PCPSR)

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PA head Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh together.

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