A recent survey shows that among the Arabs of the Middle East, Palestinians are the greatest supporters of Islamic State terror.

A recent survey found that the Palestinians show the most support for the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terror group among Arabs in the Middle East.

The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, based in Doha, Qatar, surveyed the opinions in the Arab world in relation to IS and the international coalition against it. Their findings were published on November 11.

The poll found that a majority of Arabs oppose IS and are supportive of air strikes on the terror group.

Findings from telephone interviews with 5,100 respondents in seven Arab countries (Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and “Palestine”) and in Syrian refugee camps located in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey show that 85 percent of Arabs hold negative views of IS, to varying degrees. This compares to only 11 percent of the Arab public whose views towards the group were either “Positive” or “Positive to some extent.”

Among those who do support IS, only 13 percent cited the group’s adherence to Islamic principles as a reason. A much larger group (55 percent) explained their support for IS by citing a number of other aspects, such as military achievements, preparedness to challenge the West, opposition to Iran and the Syrian and Iraqi regimes and professed support for the Sunni Muslim community in the Middle East.

The poll shows that the respondents’ negative attitudes towards IS are in line with their support of the coalition strikes on IS, as 59 percent voiced support for the military campaign led by the international coalition that was established to suppress the group. Additionally, the public in the Arab region is supportive of Arab participation in the coalition, the survey reveals.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of Palestinians demonstrate a positive view of IS. Only four percent of Palestinians view IS as completely “Positive,” in line with the average response rate of other Arab groups. However, a full 20 percent view IS as “Positive to some extent” – well over the overall average of seven percent. Additionally, even those Palestinians with negative views of IS are less negative than in other Arab groups; just 36 percent hold a wholly negative view of IS, compared to an average of 72 percent. Another 36 percent are only “Negative to some extent,” compared to just 13 percent overall.

Overwhelmingly Negative View of the U.S.

The survey further indicated an opposition of the majority of the Arab public towards the United States, the country which is leading the coalition against IS. A massive majority – 73 percent – of the respondents describe U.S. foreign policy in the region as either “Negative” or “Negative to some extent.”

The US must end its military and financial support for Israel and help resolve the Syrian crisis if it is to improve its standing in the Arab world, the majority believes.

ISIS is Already in Gaza

Reporting for the Gatestone Institute, journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports that IS has already arrived at Israel’s border with Gaza.

Writing in July, Abu Toameh asserts that despite denials by Hamas, there is growing evidence that IS has begun operating in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli security officials are convinced that followers of ISIS in the Gaza Strip are responsible for some of the recent rocket attacks on Israel. Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.

Author: United with Israel