If new presidential elections were to take place today, Mahmud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh would receive almost equal number of votes, 46% for Abbas and 47% for Haniyeh. Haniyeh’s popularity today is the highest ever registered since Hamas’s electoral victory in January 2006.One of the elephants in the room is that the West Bank is not nearly as "moderate" as wishful-thinking Secretaries of State might believe. Even in the earlier municipal elections, Hamas beat Fatah in many major West Bank towns, and Fatah's hold seems to be pretty much Ramallah alone.
The gap between the standing of Fateh compared to the standing of Hamas decreases significantly in three months from 18 percentage points to 7. If new parliamentary elections were to take place today, Hamas would receive 35%, Fateh 42%, other electoral lists combined 12%, and 11% remain undecided. This represents a significant increase in Hamas’s popularity compared to December 2007 when it received 31% compared to 49% to Fateh, 10% to other lists and 11% undecided.
49% say Haniyeh should stay in office as Prime Minister while 45% say he should not. Last September only 40% said Haniyeh should stay as prime minister. By contrast, today only 38% say Fayyad’s government should stay in office and 55% say it should not.
If the majority of Palestinian Arabs freely support terrorism, how much are they responsible for the actions of the terror government they support?