The results of a Palestinian opinion poll released on Monday countered the previous US and Israeli assertion that isolating Hamas and denying it the tools to operate an economically-viable society in the Gaza Strip would result in the Arabs living there dropping their support for the terror group.
Conducted by the Palestinian Center for Police and Survey Research, the poll showed that despite growing poverty in Gaza, Hamas' popularity among local residents remains unchanged. Hamas swept to power in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election largely on the back of its Gaza support-base.
The latest numbers, said the pollsters, reveal an "almost total lack of confidence in the peace process" being conducted by Hamas rival and internationally-recognized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
In the absence of any reasonable expectation of achieving their nationalistic goals via Israeli concessions, the Palestinians have traditionally thrown their weight behind the group that has proved itself most capable of harming the Jewish state through violence.