Katie Pavlich
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A new poll out from Arab World research shows the vast majority of Palestinians believe the best way to handle Israel and gain independence is through an armed struggle. The poll also shows favoring of the terrorist group Hamas.

For the first time since 2006, more West Bank Palestinians support the political approach of Hamas as opposed to that of Fatah and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, a new poll shows. And an overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe the results of the latest Hamas-Israel escalation that included Operation Pillar of Defense — Israel’s eight-day operation against terror targets in Gaza last month — prove that the armed struggle represents the best path to Palestinian independence.

The poll, conducted earlier this month by the Arab World Research and Development (AWRAD), a Ramallah-based research center, sampled 1,200 Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank. It set out to examine political opinions among Palestinians following Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas’s successful UN nonmember statehood bid.

While both events are overwhelmingly viewed as positive by Palestinians, adding popularity to both Palestinian factions, 42% of West Bank respondents said they preferred the approach of Hamas to that of Fatah, as opposed to only 28% who preferred Fatah’s approach.

Interestingly, more Gazans, 40%, said they preferred Fatah’s approach to that of Hamas, which rules over them. Thirty-seven percent of Gazans said Hamas’s approach was better.

While Abbas tends to favor a two-state solution reached by negotiations, Hamas — recognized internationally as a terrorist group — refuses to recognize Israel and vows eternal Jihad against the Jewish “infidels” who reside here.

An overwhelming 88% of the entire sample believed that the result of Operation Pillar of Defense proved that armed struggle is the best means of achieving Palestinian independence.

Just a reminder, Operation Pillar of Defense was an operation conducted by Israel to stop hundreds of rockets from reigning down on innocent Israeli civilians in Gaza and elsewhere. Apparently for Palestinians, Israel simply defending itself from Hamas has given them justification of an armed struggle with the Jewish State.

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Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography