How the War in Gaza is Helping Hamas: Analysis of Public Opinion in Gaza and West Bank After October 7 Chicago Project on Security and Threats
Robert A. Pape and Mohamed Elgohari  |  June 17, 2024

The report provides a detailed examination of Palestinian public opinion, highlighting major shifts in views and priorities in light of recent developments. It utilizes data from quarterly surveys conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), examining the shifting public opinion regarding Hamas, strategies to end the Israeli occupation, governance, and the overall socio-political issues in the Palestinian territories, the West Bank and Gaza.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched attacks that sent shockwaves throughout the Palestinian territories, significantly altering public opinion. In the immediate aftermath, support for Hamas notably increased, especially in the West Bank. This surge in backing stemmed from widespread beliefs that the attacks were a justified reaction to Israeli provocations, including settler violence and Israeli transgressions at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The data highlights a marked rise in support for armed resistance, mirroring deep frustration with the current situation and a growing skepticism about the effectiveness of the peace process.

Despite the surge in support for Hamas, the report uncovers a multifaceted and shifting public opinion landscape. While backing for armed struggle remains strong, there is also a noticeable rise in the preference for non-violent resistance. Palestinians are increasingly seeing the value in utilizing international organizations to bolster their cause and exert pressure on Israel. This strategic pivot reflects a broader quest for effective means to attain sovereignty and statehood in the face of ongoing conflict and occupation.

The report emphasizes that the Israeli occupation remains the top priority for Palestinians, consistently taking precedence over other significant issues like corruption and unemployment. However, the ongoing conflict in Gaza has shifted public attention to the immediate humanitarian crisis, highlighting how public priorities can swiftly change in response to current events.

Read the full report here.