A new survey by the Palestinian led Jerusalem Media and Communications Center indicates Hamas has suffered a significant decline in popularity among Palestinians. About 47% of people support the Abbas government and only 24% are supporting the Hamas government. It is most surprising that even in the Gaza strip which is controlled by Hamas, 44% supported the Abbas government. The study also indicated 61% of Palestinians oppose Israel’s offer of exchange of territories in order to maintain control of West Bank settlements but 38% were willing to accept it.
If this study is valid, it reveals a strong under current among Palestinians for peace. The fact that 38% are willing to accept the Israel proposal suggests there is a base for peace. If Israel would abandon the West Bank settlements, there is powerful evidence peace could be achieved with Palestinian leaders. Hamas would be left behind if Israel offered to evacuate West Bank settlements. Now is the time for Israel to make a dramatic offer of peace, it will be received by the Palestinian people.