Poll Shows Palestinians Widely Support Hamas's Oct. 7 Attack

Bodies of victims of an attack, following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen. (Reuters)
December 15, 2023

A majority of Palestinians support Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel, according to a poll from a research organization based in the West Bank.

Seventy-two percent of Palestinian respondents to a poll the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research released Wednesday said they believe the attacks were the correct decision given the outcome. Support was more prominent among West Bank residents, 82 percent of whom said the attacks were correct. In Gaza, 57 percent said the attacks were the correct decision, compared to 37 percent who said it was incorrect.

Researchers said the poll does not indicate support for atrocities Hamas committed during the attacks. Majorities of Palestinians in both Gaza and that West Bank correctly said attacking or killing civilians in their homes violated international law. Eighty-five percent, however, said they did not see videos of Hamas terrorists committing those atrocities, and only 7 percent said they believe Hamas committed them.

Additionally, 72 percent of Palestinians said they were satisfied with Hamas's performance in the war—85 percent of those in the West Bank and 52 percent of Gazans. Similar proportions were satisfied with the role of Gazan Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Just 10 percent of West Bank residents were satisfied with the Palestinian Authority, compared with 21 percent of Gazans.

In the West Bank, the results represent a tripling of support for Hamas compared with before Oct. 7, and Gazan support for Hamas has increased as well, though "not significantly," researchers said. The center added that Palestinian support for Hamas often rises during or after wartime before dipping to below pre-war levels.

The results come just under a month after President Joe Biden called for a "revitalized" Palestinian Authority to take control of the enclave after the war. A day after, the Palestinian Authority published a later-deleted statement that said Israeli helicopters, not Hamas, had killed Israelis attending a music festival, though one report said the Palestinian Authority's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, did not approve its publication.

Published under: Hamas