Poll: Spike in Palestinian support for military operations against Israel
Spurred by the recent Gaza conflict, continued settlement expansion, and a stalled peace process, Palestinian support for a military operation against Israel has jumped 20 percentage points in a year.
Hebron, West Bank
Palestinian support for military operations against Israel has registered its most significant jump in 10 years, spurred by the recent Gaza conflict, ongoing Israeli settlement expansion, and frustration over a peace process that has been essentially deadlocked for more than four years.Skip to next paragraph
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The percentage of Palestinians supporting such operations has reached 50.9 percent, up from 29.3 percent in January 2011.
In addition, according to statistics published by Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, there was a 600 percent increase in terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem from August to November. The number of attacks lessened from 166 to 111 in December, according to a new report, but that is still 400 percent more than in August.
The recent data, together with a resurgent Hamas and an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian clashes in recent weeks, underscores the risks of a continued stalemate both for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“I think if the situation continues the way it is … the Palestinian people might rise in rebellion, similar to the rebellion being waged in the rest of the Arab countries,” says Shireen Qawasmi, a mother of three in Hebron with manicured nails and a faux fur wrap. “I will carry arms and be the first one to go and fight…. We are not war lovers, but when you see your children getting killed, and your land confiscated, you are forced to fight.”
As PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party last weekend marked 48 years since the group’s founding – first as a guerrilla organization and later as a Western-backed political movement – Mr. Abbas has reaffirmed his party’s commitment to nonviolent means.
But in the wake of the November conflict between Israel and Hamas, he faces a serious challenge in persuading Palestinians that his model is better than Hamas’s militant approach. While Abbas got a boost from the recent United Nations vote, which recognized Palestine as a non-member state instead of just an observer, he is still seen as fighting an uphill battle.