Many Palestinians would still vote for Hamas

Thursday, August 23, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The results of a recent public opinion poll published on Wednesday showed that many Palestinians will still vote for Hamas and Hamas candidates in upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Conducted by the Jerusalem Media Communications Center among a random sampling of 1,200 Palestinians from Judea and Sarmaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip, the poll showed that if presidential elections were held today, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would receive about 20.6 percent of the vote, while Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would be hot on his tail with 18.8 percent.

The results contradicted Israeli and Western assertions that the year-long diplomatic and economic isolation of the Hamas government had succeeded in causing the Palestinians to reconsider who they want as their leaders.

The survey also debunked the popular myth that jailed Palestinian legislator and terror boss Marwan Barghouti should be released because he would easily defeat the Hamas Islamists in a national vote. Barghouti finished behind Haniyeh in the poll with only 16 percent of respondents choosing him as the most suitable president.

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