A Palestinian Authority public opinion poll carried out last month shows support is growing among its population for an “armed struggle” against Israel.
The poll, conducted on December 13, 2022 by Dr. Khalil Shqaqi’s Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) showed public support is growing for “armed struggle” against Israel, a return to an armed intifada, and “armed attacks” inside against Israeli civilians inside Israel, along with support for “armed groups” in the Palestinian Authority, all of which increased in comparison to the third quarter, especially in Judea and Samaria.
There was also overwhelming support (72 percent) for “armed groups” [such as the Lion’s Den terrorist network], but more than half said they were concerned that it would lead to clashes between the groups and the Palestinian Authority’s security services, according to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
There was a particularly significant increase in support for terrorist attacks inside Israel, according to the report, which said the findings apparently indicate a trend within the Palestinian public towards extremism, especially in Judea and Samaria.
Figures in the Palestinian Authority led by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh have been encouraging violence and reward both Palestinian terrorists who carry out attacks and their families.
They have also been promoting international dialogues and activities to delegitimize Israel, calling for boycotts, and repeatedly and publicly claiming there is no partner for peace in Israel.
One week ago, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution advanced on behalf of the Palestinian Authority that called on the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and its close ally, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both continue efforts to foment unrest in Judea and Samaria and encourage the populace to clash with the Israeli security forces and carry out terrorist attacks, while abstaining from terrorist attacks on Israel’s southern border.
Both terror groups are generously supported by Iran.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday called a series of Israeli measures meant to curb and punish Palestinian Authority support for terrorism, a “unilateral move” that “exacerbates tensions.”
Israel’s Security Cabinet last week approved the measures in response to what it described as the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing “political and legal war” against the Jewish state.
In response, Israel on Sunday transferred $39.5 million of taxes and tariffs collected for the Palestinian Authority to the victims of terrorism and their families, among other measures.
“We have continued to make the point that unilateral actions that threaten the viability of a two-state solution, unilateral actions that only exacerbate tensions—those are not in the interests of a negotiated two-state solution,” Price told reporters.
He added the Biden administration has “been consistent in our own strong opposition to the request for an ICJ advisory opinion concerning Israel…. We believe this action was counterproductive.”