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Dangerous Delusions: Palestinian and US Muslim Views On Hamas

News Image By JNS.org March 25, 2024
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Ninety-three percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas did not commit atrocities during its mass invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7, and 72% support the attack, according to recent polling conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR).

The survey of 1,580 Palestinians in Gaza, Judea and Samaria was conducted between March 5 and 10 via in-person interviews. The margin of error was 3%.

Notably, among Palestinians who watched videos of the atrocities filmed by the perpetrators themselves, 81% still did not believe atrocities were committed.


Only one in five Palestinians have seen such videos, according to the survey.

Twelve hundred people, mostly civilians, were killed, thousands more wounded and 253 kidnapped to Gaza during the Oct. 7 invasion. During the assault the terrorists committed acts of mass rape, necrophilia, beheadings, torture, mutilation, desecration of corpses and other atrocities.

Palestinian support for the Oct. 7 attack is virtually unchanged since the last poll was conducted three months ago, with 71% calling Hamas's decision to launch it "correct." The results do, however, show a difference between respondents in the Gaza Strip and in Judea and Samaria. In Gaza, support for the attack rose by 14 points since December, to 71%. In Judea and Samaria, support for the invasion dropped 11 points, also to 71%.

Surprisingly, Gazans' support for Hamas continuing to rule the Gaza Strip has increased by 14 points to more than 50% since December, with nearly 60% believing that the terrorist group will remain in control of the territory.

"Given the magnitude of the suffering in the Gaza Strip, this seems to be the most counterintuitive finding of the entire poll," according to the Ramallah-based institute.

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Regardless of how they feel about Oct. 7, almost half of U.S. Muslim adults (49%) say that Hamas had "valid" reasons to fight Israel, and 21% of that demographic said that Hamas's terror attack on Oct. 7 was either "completely acceptable" (10%) or "somewhat acceptable" (11%).

That's according to new data from the Pew Research Center, based on a survey of 12,693 American adults between Feb. 13 and Feb. 25.


"Unlike most nationally representative polling in the United States since the war began, our survey includes enough Jewish and Muslim respondents to allow their views to be analyzed separately," Pew stated in a release. (The survey, which is oversampled for Jews and Muslims, has a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points in either direction.)

While more than one in five American Muslim adults said that it was at least "somewhat acceptable" that Hamas--which the United States has designated a terrorist organization for 27 years--attacked the Jewish state on Oct. 7, just about 5% of U.S. adults overall thought that. Three percent of U.S. Jewish adults said that Hamas's attack was acceptable.

Nearly three in four (73%) American adults said that the way Hamas carried out its Oct. 7 attack was unacceptable, with 66% saying Hamas's reasons were "completely unacceptable."

An overwhelming majority (89%) of American Jews said that Israel was justified in going to war against Hamas, compared to 18% of U.S. Muslims. While 49% of Muslim Americans said that Hamas has valid reasons to attack Israel, just 16% of American Jews said that.

Well over half (62%) of American Jews and 5% of Muslim Americans said Israel's war in Gaza is acceptable, while 68% of American Muslims said it was unacceptable.

American adults overwhelmingly support Washington providing humanitarian aid to Gaza (50% in favor, 19% opposed), while 36% favor the United States providing Israel with military aid and 34% do not.


Republicans and Democrats are divided greatly on the war, according to Pew data.

More than half (52%) of Democrats and independents who lean Democrat say that Israel's response to Oct. 7 is unacceptable, while 17% of Republicans and right-leaning independents said that.

Just under a quarter of Democrats (24%)--down from 35% in 2022--have favorable views of the Israeli government overall, compared to 63% of Republicans. Some 23% of Americans had a favorable view of the Palestinian Authority.

A majority of Democrats and Republicans does not favor a two-state solution, according to Pew data. Just under half (48%) of Democrats and 33% of Republicans want an independent Palestinian state. More than a quarter (26%) of Republicans--up from 18% in 2022--favor a single state run by Israel.

Americans under the age of 30 represented the only group in which less than half (38%) said that Israel had a valid reason to fight Hamas. A similar number (34%) of those under 30 said that Hamas had valid reasons to fight Israel.

Only 3% of American adults surveyed said that it was "extremely" or "very" likely that there will be lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Originally published at JNS.org




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