Poll: Hamas gains in popularity after border breach

Other News Materials 6 February 2008 21:46 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Hamas has gained from its breaching of the Gaza Strip border with Egypt to bypass a tight Israeli blockade, an opinion poll published Wednesday indicated.

Support for the radical Islamic movement ruling Gaza rose from 31 per cent in December to 34 per cent, just within the margin of error of 2 per cent, said the poll by the Ramallah -based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

The rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas , on the other hand, suffered a slight drop in popularity from 50 per cent to 46 per cent between December and January.

"The increase reflects public appreciation, particularly in the Gaza Strip, of Hamas ' role in forcing open the borders of the Gaza Strip with Egypt," said PSR.

However, in spite of the relative improvement in the standing of Hamas , 72 per cent of the respondents said they still oppose the movement's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June.

The poll was conducted between January 23 and February 3 on a sample of 3,430 adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.