In recent surveys conducted in Palestine, a strong wave of support for Hamas and opposition to Israel’s existence has been revealed. The polls provide insights into the opinions of Palestinians regarding the October Massacre and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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According to data gathered by Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), an independent public opinion research firm, 83% of Palestinians expressed support for the Hamas-led October 7 attacks on Israel, which resulted in the loss of approximately 1,200 lives. The poll, based on in-person interviews with 668 adults in Gaza and the West Bank between October 31 and November 7, also revealed that an almost equal percentage of respondents favored the establishment of a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.” This slogan, however, has drawn criticism from the Anti-Defamation League as it can be interpreted as calling for the elimination of the Jewish state.

While some interpret the rallying cry as a call for peace, others view it as a significant obstacle to a resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The survey indicated that 17% of respondents supported a two-state solution, while 5% favored a single state for both peoples.

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It is worth noting that polling Palestinians can be a challenging task, especially in the Gaza Strip, where respondents face potential reprisal from their leaders. Notably, other surveys, such as the one conducted by Arab Barometer, found that over two-thirds of Palestinians expressed little or no trust in Hamas just before the October 7 attacks.

Arab Barometer’s co-founder & co-principal investigator, Amaney Jamal Sat down for an interview with BBC’s Lucy Hocking to discuss that survey. Watch:

The AWRAD poll also shed light on the impact of the ongoing conflict. The survey indicated that 47% of respondents in Gaza reported partial demolition of their homes, while approximately 13% stated the loss of immediate family members due to the fighting. The current conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 11,000 Palestinians, and approximately one million individuals have been displaced from their homes, as reported by Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

In terms of their perception of the United States’ role in the conflict, an overwhelming majority of 98% of respondents expressed a very negative or somewhat negative view. Additionally, the poll revealed that a significant majority (90%) of Palestinians are less confident now than ever before about the possibility of coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.

These poll results highlight the complex and deeply divided opinions within the Palestinian territories. Critics argue that the widespread support for Hamas and opposition to Israel’s existence may hinder the prospects of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict peacefully.

As tensions persist in the region, the findings of these surveys provide crucial insights into the sentiments of Palestinians regarding the October Massacre and the ongoing struggle for statehood, underscoring the challenges faced in achieving a lasting peace in the region.

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