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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Most Palestinians back Israel rocket fire if Gaza blockade stays

AFP , Monday 29 Sep 2014
Palestinians ride an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) past a structure with a mural reading "Fighters for peace" in Wadi Fukin, near West Bank town of Bethlehem September 10, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Most Palestinians would favour resuming rocket fire at Israel if it does not lift its Gaza blockade, although support for armed confrontation is dropping off, according to a poll published Monday.

"An overwhelming majority of 80% supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended," said the survey of 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Resarch (PSR).

Conducted a month after the end of Israel's 50-day Gaza military offensive to stop rocket fire, the poll says 44 percent of respondents saw armed confrontation as the best way to end Israeli occupation and set up a Palestinian state.

It said that 29 percent believed negotiations were the best option, while 23 percent favoured non-violent resistance.

But the poll, carried out between September 25-27 and with a margin of error of three percentage points, reflected a falloff in support both for Hamas which rules Gaza and for violence.

PSR said that in a similar survey a month earlier, in the immediate aftermath of the war, 53 percent backed armed confrontation.

Asked how they would vote if a general election were held now, 39 percent of those polled said they would support Hamas, down from 46 percent a month ago.

The rival Fatah of president Mahmud Abbas would win 36 percent, up from 31 percent in August, the survey found.

But in a presidential race, Hamas's Ismail Haniya would romp home with 55 percent support compared to 38 percent for Abbas.

Asked if Israel with its massive air, sea and land bombardment of Gaza had won the July-August war, or Hamas -- which fired rockets deep into Israel -- 69 percent handed victory to Hamas in the latest survey, down from 79 percent last month.

The war killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, almost all soldiers.

*This article was edited by Ahram Online.

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