This report analyzes Palestinian opinion surveys over the past decade, tracking the shifting levels of support for Fatah and political Islam according to various indicators (e.g., refugee status, age, gender, occupation, and income level) and linking the shifts to political developments on the ground; the data are organized to highlight the impact of the second intifada. Among the interesting findings is the sharp gender division in support for the two movements, with women constituting the majority of political Islam's support and men dominating support for Fatah. Less surprising is Hamas's growing support in the poorest segment of the population, showing a degree of social ““class”” polarization. The author ends with a brief analysis of the results of the 2006 legislative elections in the light of the survey findings.
Hamas's Rise as Charted in the Polls, 1994––2005
Jamil Hilal a Palestinian sociologist who has lived in the West Bank since 1995, is senior associate fellow at Muwatin, the Palestinian Institution for the Study of Democracy (Ramallah). His most recent books (in Arabic) include Toward a Palestinian Social Security System (1999); The Formation of the Palestinian Elite (2002); The Making of the Palestinian Middle Class (2006); and a monograph, Palestinian Political Parties (2006). He would like to thank Henrik Luden for his input to this paper, which originally was intended to be a joint paper with long quotes from Luden's interviews with supporters of the Islamic movement in the West Bank.
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Jamil Hilal; Hamas's Rise as Charted in the Polls, 1994––2005. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 January 2006; 35 (3): 6–19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2006.35.3.6
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