One of the reasons why Palestinian leaders refuse to condemn Hamas's October 7 massacre of Israelis is because they know that many Palestinians support the atrocities committed by the Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group.
Unlike the Biden administration and many Europeans, these leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are fully aware of the widespread support among their people for any group whose goal is to murder Israelis and destroy Israel. The Palestinian leaders, in addition, are also aware that a majority of the Palestinians are opposed to the deluded Western fantasy of a "two-state solution."
In a region as volatile as the Middle East, if, say, Islamic State, Al Qaeda or the Islamic Republic of Iran -- on the cusp of having nuclear bombs to threaten the region, Europe and the United States -- were to take over a Palestinian State, the way Hamas took over the Gaza Strip by force from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 -- those terrorist machines, not Finland or Denmark, would be Israel's immediate neighbors. Whatever your country is, it would not permit that, either – nor should it.
A public opinion poll published on November 14 showed that 75% of Palestinians support Hamas's murder spree, including rape and beheadings, as opposed to only 13% who disapprove.
The poll, conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), covered 668 respondents across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
According to the results, 59.3% of the Palestinians expressed "extreme support" for the actions of Hamas on October 7, while 15.7% said they "somewhat" favored the massacre. Fewer than 13% of the Palestinians opposed the massacre.
Surprisingly, the poll found that support for Hamas and its "military operation" is even higher in the West Bank, where Abbas's Palestinian Authority is based, than in the Gaza Strip. In the past two years, the West Bank, controlled by Abbas's security forces, have seen the emergence of several terrorist groups affiliated with Hamas, as well as another Iranian proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Abbas has done nothing, ever, to rein in the terrorists, who are responsible for countless attacks on Israelis. Unfortunately, this is the same West Bank where the Biden administration and the European Union want to establish a Palestinian state. If such a large number of Palestinians in the West Bank support the murder of Israelis and Hamas, it is safe to assume that a new "Palestinian state" would be controlled by Hamas or another genocidal, antisemitic terror group.
The poll also showed that 68% of the Palestinians in the West Bank said they "extremely support" the butchering of Israelis, while another 14.8% said they "somewhat" support it. In total, 87.7% of the Palestinians in the West Bank have a positive sentiment toward Hamas. Only 10.2% of the Palestinians living in the West Bank have a negative sentiment toward Hamas.
Another, but less-surprising, result of the poll is that 80% of the Palestinians reject both the "one-state" and "two-state" solutions, and instead demand all the territory
, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – in short, the entire State of Israel within any borders.
The findings of the poll shatter the claim made by US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Hamas is not representative of most Palestinians. Sadly, the results of the poll show, without doubt, that the Biden administration is completely clueless about the anti-Israel sentiment among a large majority of the Palestinians.
That a majority of Palestinians want to replace Israel with an Iran-backed terror state also shows that the Biden administration and most European governments are engaging in extreme self-deception when they talk about the need to promote the concept of a "two-state solution."
This is not the first survey to show that a majority of Palestinians are vehemently opposed to a "two-state solution" and support an armed struggle against Israel. It is also not the first poll to show that most Palestinians prefer Hamas and other terrorist groups to the Palestinian Authority.
One month before the Hamas massacre, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research published a poll that showed that 67% of the Palestinian public oppose
s the idea of a "two-state solution" as opposed to 32% who support it. The poll showed that a majority of 53% of the Palestinians support armed struggle against Israel. Twenty percent said they support negotiations with Israel, while another 24% expressed support for a "popular non-violent resistance." The poll, in addition, showed that if new presidential elections were held at the time, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would receive 58% of the votes as opposed to 37% for Abbas.
The findings of the polls do not really come as a surprise to those who have been closely monitoring Palestinian affairs over the past few decades. Support for Hamas and terrorism against Israel is the direct result of a decades-long campaign of incitement against Israel by Palestinian leaders and factions, including those from both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
When Abbas tells his people that Jews are "defiling with their filthy feet" the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, he is not only lying, but inciting the murder of Jew. Abbas, in fact, pays the murderers of Jews or their families a monthly stipend as part of his "Pay-for-Slay" policy, a jobs program like Murder, Inc.
A 2017 analysis by The Washington Post revealed that $160 million was paid to 13,000 beneficiaries of "prisoner payments" ($12,307 per person) and $183 million was paid to 33,700 families in "martyr payments" ($5,430 per family) annually. Of the total amount, the newspaper estimated that $36 million was paid to prisoners serving sentences of 20 years in Israeli prison. Another $10 million was paid to the families of 200 suicide bombers.
It is worth noting that Hamas named its massacre "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood," presumably in response to peaceful and routine visits by Jews to Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which are permitted, by mutual agreement, to open-air areas that are outside of the mosque. Hamas claimed that the name of the massacre came in response to supposed "Israeli violations in the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque." There were, of course, no "violations" by Jews. Their only "crime" was that they visited the Temple Mount in accordance with all agreements.
"The [Israeli] enemy desecrated the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dared to visit prophet Mohammed's place of worship," said Hamas arch-terrorist Mohammed Deif, one of the masterminds of the October 7 massacre. Addressing Palestinians, he added:
"Start marching now toward Palestine, and do not let borders or restrictions deprive you of the honor of Jihad (holy war) and participating in the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
The rhetoric and actions of the Palestinian Authority show that it shares responsibility with Hamas for the October 7 massacre. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have raised an entire generation of Palestinians on the glorification of terrorism and the imperative of murdering Jews and eliminating Israel. How can any rational person talk about a "two-state solution" when a majority of Palestinians believe there is nothing wrong with burning, beheading and raping Jews, or baking a Jewish baby to death in an oven?
The results of the poll confirm what most Arabs and Muslims already know: that the only solution most Palestinians are willing to accept is one that leads to the murder of all Jews and the destruction of Israel. It remains to be seen whether the latest Palestinian slaughter of Jews serves to awaken the Biden administration and the Europeans to this inconvenient, uncomfortable fact.
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.