0% of West Bank Palestinians Consider Oct. 7 Massacre Illegitimate: Poll

Hamas fighters in Gaza City (Getty Images)
January 24, 2024

Zero percent of Palestinians in the West Bank described Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attacks as illegitimate resistance against Israel, according to a poll released earlier this month.

In a poll from the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, West Bank respondents were asked whether the attacks constituted an illegitimate operation. Seventy-nine percent said the attacks were legitimate, 11 percent said they were a flawed but legitimate resistance operation, and 4 percent said they were a legitimate operation that involved heinous or criminal acts. Support for the position that the Oct. 7 attacks were an illegitimate operation did not register a single percentage point. Six percent said they did not know or declined to answer.

People in the broader region held similar views. Across more than a dozen Arab countries, 67 percent said the attacks were legitimate, while 19 percent said they were legitimate but flawed, and 2 percent said they were legitimate but contained heinous acts. Five percent called them illegitimate.

As for the reasons why Hamas carried out the attacks, 45 percent of West Bank residents said the purpose was "defending al-Aqsa Mosque against attacks," referring to the Muslim landmark in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, 24 percent said the reason was "the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land."

Palestinians in the West Bank were pessimistic about the prospect of peace with Israel. While 24 percent said that they believed peace with the Jewish state was impossible before the war, 56 percent said they have become certain there will be no possibility for peace with the country, and 14 percent said they had serious doubts about that prospect. Just 5 percent said there was a possibility for peace.

Additionally, 90 percent of West Bank respondents said U.S. media coverage of the war in Gaza has been biased in favor of Israel, while 3 percent said it was neutral.

The poll comes weeks after a survey from a West Bank-based institute showed that most Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza believed that the Oct. 7 attacks were the correct decision given the consequences. Most respondents were aware of what acts constitute atrocities under international law but did not believe Hamas committed those acts.

Published under: Hamas , Israel