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85% of Palestinians express support for Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, Palestinian poll finds

Almost all respondents said they would ‘never forgive’ Israel

Palestinians take part in a protest in support of the people of Gaza, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Hebron, West Bank, November 3, 2023. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

An overwhelming majority of Palestinians, both in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, expressed their support for the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, a poll by Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) found.

AWRAD is a research and consulting firm based in the Palestinian Authority capital Ramallah in the West Bank.

The poll surveyed the opinions of 668 residents across the West Bank and Gaza during the fourth week of the war in face-to-face interviews conducted online.

In its most revealing find, 85% of those polled support the “October 7 attacks” either strongly or at least somewhat. Surprisingly, 68% of the West Bank residents strongly supported the Hamas assault, as compared to 47% of the respondents in Gaza.

The poll also asked what the respondents thought was the main reason for the Hamas attacks. Some 35% said they believed the reason to be the oppression of Palestinians, especially what they saw as Israeli attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. This was also the reason that Hamas dubbed its attack the “al-Aqsa Flood.”

Other popular answers included responses to broader issues, such as freeing Palestine, ending the occupation and stopping settlements (33%), or breaking the blockade of Gaza (21%). Only a small percentage of those surveyed said that regional interests, like Iran's military planning or a possible Israeli normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, were the reason for Hamas’ actions.

Because most respondents were personally impacted by the war, it may explain differences in the support for the Hamas attacks between West Bank and Gaza residents.

Just over half of the respondents in Gaza stated that they were displaced because of the war, with 48% saying that their house was completely or partially destroyed in the fighting.

Almost one-fourth of Gaza's civilians said that at least one of their immediate family members was killed during the war.

These statistics make it unsurprising that almost all respondents (98%) said that they would never forget or forgive Israel for its actions during the war.

Despite all this, however, 73% are still convinced that “Palestine will win” the war and repel the Israeli invasion, and even more respondents (79%) thought that Israel would be forced to free all of its Palestinian security prisoners at the end of the war.

The strong support for Hamas was underlined again with 75% of respondents saying they wish for a unity government, to include Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, when the war ends.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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