Poll: 77 Percent of Palestinians Back Rocket Attacks on Israel

More than three out of every four Palestinians back launching rockets at Israel if the blockade of Gaza continues and 80 percent support stabbing or running over Israelis with their cars in Jerusalem or in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), a poll has found.

The survey, done in early December by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, found that among Palestinians polled, 77 percent back the rocket attacks, while 42 percent say that armed conflict is the best way to achieve statehood. Violence is the wining statehood option according to the poll; the next closest plan to create a Palestinian state is through non-violent resistance at 28 percent of those polled, with peace negotiations coming in third at 26 percent.

In a separate result, 56 percent support a return to an armed intifada, or uprising, against Israel. The previous intifada was marked by suicide bombings and other violent attacks. The latest round of violence on Israelis, which surged in October, consisted of stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Despite the fact that women, old men, and a baby were among the victims, the December poll found that four out of every five Palestinians backed those attacks “in light of the tension” in Jerusalem and “the increase in the level of mutual violence.”

It should be noted that the Israeli perpetrators of one example of that “mutual violence”—a tragic kidnapping and murdering of a Palestinian teen—were caught and imprisoned and the act was strongly condemned by the Israeli leadership. That stands in contrast to the support for violence by Palestinians in this poll.

The backing of violence in the survey increased after the conflict between Gaza and Israel this past summer. While the war was started by the Hamas terror group—who kicked off tensions by kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teens—the Palestinian public still supports Hamas politically. The poll found that if elections were held today, Hamas would win the Palestinian presidency and the legislature.

The support for Hamas has declined slightly since a poll three months ago that quickly followed the latest Gaza war, but support for a new armed intifada against Israel has actually gone up six percentage points, from 50 percent of those polled three months ago. Other opinions supporting violence have declined slightly.

The poll, whose results were posted on the website for the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, was conducted during early December with a sample size of 1,270 adults and a margin of error of 3 percent.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 6, 2015)

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