Public support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement is increasing at the expense of the Islamic Hamas movement, a public opinion poll released Thursday has found.
The survey, the first undertaken by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC), since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June, found that Hamas' popularity now stands at 21.6 per cent, down from the 25.2 per cent scored in a previous JMCC poll carried out in March, before the Gaza takeover.
Abbas' Fatah party, which won 31.4 per cent support in March poll, now has the backing of 34.4 per cent of respondents.
Some 46.7 per cent believe the situation in the Gaza Strip has worsened since the Hamas takeover, compared to 27.1 per cent who think it has improved.
Only 23 per cent thought early elections was the way out of the crisis created by the Gaza takeover and the subsequent division of the Palestinian areas into two political entities, one in the Gaza Strip headed by Hamas and the other in the West Bank, headed by a caretaker government appointed by Abbas.
Dialogue between the two factions was the preferred choice of 27.9 per cent, while 26.1 per cent supported the reforming the national unity government which Abbas broke up in response to the Hamas takeover of the Strip.
The poll was conducted among 1,190 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between August 16 and August 20, and had a plus-minus 3 per cent margin of error.
Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2007, 16:19