Monday, March 4, 2024

Poll: Arabs view Hamas October attack on Israel as ‘legitimate resistance operation’

Nearly 90 percent of Arabs view the Hamas-led attack against Israel on 7 October as a "legitimate resistance operation", according to a new poll published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies on Wednesday.

The survey, which also showed a majority support for Hamas, was based on a sample of 8,000 respondents, men and women, from 16 Arab countries.

Of the 90 percent who viewed the assault as legitimate, 19 percent of respondents said it was somewhat flawed but legitimate, while three percent said it was legitimate but involved heinous or criminal acts. Only five percent viewed it as an illegitimate operation.

According to the study, Arabic public opinion did not believe the attack was launched to pursue a foreign agenda.

Nearly 35 percent of respondents said the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories was the most important reason behind the attack. Around 24 percent attributed it to defending Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israeli violations and eight percent attributed it to the ongoing blockade of Gaza.

There was also an “Arab consensus” of 92 percent of respondents expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people, the poll showed.

A total of 69 percent expressed solidarity with Palestinians and support for Hamas, while 23 percent expressed solidarity with Palestinians but opposed Hamas.

Other findings showed that the majority of respondents expressed psychological stress due to the war, rejected comparisons between Hamas and Islamic State, and viewed the US position negatively.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, killing at least 23,300 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 59,500 others, according to local health authorities.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

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