Radicals retreat, Palestinians want talks

Posted: May 8, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Palestinians, West Bank
Tags: ,

With Fatah mostly dropping insane insurgency of early 2000's, Palestinians flock to it. Yet, the rhetoric never changed, only wore a suit. 60.8% of Palestinians favor the indirect talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, while 72.2% oppose beginning another “popular uprising”, according to news reports:

A majority (62.2 per cent) is opposed to firing al-Qassam rockets from Gaza at Israel. About 72.2 per cent is against a third intifada. Most respondents trust more Fatah (53 per cent) than Hamas (15 per cent) and would vote for the Fatah candidate in case of a presidential election. These are the main results from the latest survey by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), an independent public opinion research company that has been studying Palestinian public opinion since 1994. It is led by Nabil Kukali, a Christian, who teaches at Hebron University, in the West Bank.

A great majority of the Palestinian public backs negotiations with Israel. Most of them also think that even a temporary freeze on settlements would be helpful. In fact, 15.4 per cent said they would strongly support talks if Israel agreed to a freeze, 45.4 per cent would somewhat support them, 20.5 per cent would somewhat oppose them, and 9.0 per cent would strongly oppose them.

(Spero News)

NOTE THE IMPORTANT data on Fatah-Hamas rivalry, of 53% support for Fatah versus 13% for Hamas. The divide between the two actually grows significantly, as a year ago support for Fatah stood at 34.9% versus Hamas’ 18.8%, as I wrote in June 2009:

Conducted among 1,199 respondents, the poll shows support for HAMAS dropping 8.9%, from 27.7% in January to 18.8% now.

The 8.9% gap made its way to Mahmoud Abbas’ FATAH group, raising support for its cause to 34.9%, from 26% in January

(June 29, 2009)

So let’s look into the numbers. They are:

  • Good for Fatah, as it now restores its standing among Palestinian population. Ironically, Abbas’ popularity grows also thanks to Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad, a non-Fatah member, who actually despises the group for its corruption.
  • Bad news for Hamas, who hoped for years now to seize control in the West Bank from its chief rival. While still active in Fatah-controlled West Bank, Palestinian people mostly dislike the group for its failures to organize good life for Gazans and their cowardly performance in face of Israeli troops during Cast Lead.
  • Bad news for Gazans, as these news will now send Hamas clutching for power with all their might. With Hamas steadily losing income, raising taxes, unable to smuggle arms, and seeing armed rivalry from similar Gazan groups rise, it will likely use military force to bring anyone opposing them into submission. Therefore, it is likely Gaza’s population would soon actually suffer, not from Israeli “occupation”, but under Hamas’ totalitarian regime.

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