U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan went to Ramallah following his meetings in Tel Aviv to discuss post-war arrangements with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas to include reactivating Palestinian security forces in Gaza. The problem for the U.S. is that Palestinians might not want the Palestinian Authority either, as they don’t see that it has any power to protect them from Israeli violence. According to a poll published on Wednesday, 90% of Palestinians now want Abbas to resign, up 10% since a similar poll in September.
With survey results indicating a further erosion of the PA’s legitimacy, at a time when there’s no apparent path toward restarting credible negotiations on Palestinian statehood, the default for postwar Gaza is an open-ended Israeli occupation, said pollster Khalil Shikaki. “Israel is stuck in Gaza,” Shikaki told The Associated Press on Dec. 14, ahead of the publication of the survey’s results by his Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, or PSR. “Maybe the next (Israeli) government will decide that Netanyahu is not right in putting all these conditions, and they might decide to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza. But the default for the future, for Israel and Gaza, is that Israel is in full reoccupation of Gaza.”
While support for Abbas is barely above zero, support for Hamas has grown, contrary to Israeli claims that the people of Gaza would blame Hamas for the destruction of the enclave. Despite the devastation, 57% of respondents in Gaza and 82% in the West Bank believe Hamas was correct in launching the attack, the poll indicated. A large majority believed Hamas’ assertions that it acted to defend the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem against Jewish extremists and win the release of Palestinian prisoners. Only 10% said they believed Hamas has committed war crimes, with a large majority saying they did not see videos showing the militants committing atrocities.