An opinion poll taken in the Palestinian territories has shown that the Hamas faction would beat Fatah by a narrow margin if elections were held this week: a significant improvement over past polls, which regularly show Fatah ahead (in spite of Hamas’ victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections).
Incredibly, the poll showed Hamas enjoys considerably stronger support in the Fatah-controlled West Bank than in the Gaza Strip. It also showed Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas member, was the most trusted politician among Palestinians, well ahead of Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas.
But in the end, neither party seems to enjoy much in the way of broad trust from the Palestinian population. Hamas is trusted by 27.7 percent of those who answered, compared to 26 percent who trusted Fatah. In an era of violent infighting this is probably not unsurprising.