Posts Tagged ‘ Islamic Resistance of Hamas ’

Hamas calls for new strategy to protect Aqsa Mosque

Sunday, 03 May 2015

Palestinian faction Hamas on Saturday called for devising an Arab-Palestinian strategy for the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli authorities are trying to impose a new fait accompli by allowing Israeli settlers to repeatedly force their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, Hamas said in a statement.

Israel is trying to exploit the Arab world’s preoccupation with its domestic problems to divide up Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and continue with its “Judaisation,” Hamas said

The Palestinian faction went on to reiterate that Al-Aqsa Mosque was at the heart of the conflict between the Arabs and Israel and that the responsibility of defending it fell on the shoulders of Palestinian resistance factions.

In a Saturday report by Himma News – a media group focused on Jerusalem news and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular – said that some 1,300 Israeli settlers have barged into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex throughout April.

In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War.

It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada,” a popular uprising against Israel’s decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/18403-hamas-calls-for-new-strategy-to-protect-aqsa-mosque.

Hamas seizes spying Israeli electronic insects in Gaza

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas have seized electronic insects that were flying the skies of the Gaza Strip, according to Al-Majd, a security website close to Hamas.

Al-Majd reports that the devices are used by the Israeli authorities for spying and monitoring the positions and bases of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.

It is also believed they are being used to search for Israeli soldiers reportedly kidnapped during the latest Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

An informed source told Al-Majd that Hamas electronic security units disassembled these insects and found pictures of the soldiers kidnapped during the war stored in their memories. They also revealed that they are being run and monitored via satellites.

“The electronic insects are the size of small birds and look as birds from far distances,” the informed source said. “They can easily fly and enter into buildings and other facilities through very small holes and fly easily inside them.”

The Israeli military launched a wide-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip last summer which resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians. Around 73 Israelis were also killed, including six non-combatants. Two Israeli soldiers are reported to have been kidnapped by Hamas fighters in Gaza during the ground operation. However, the Israeli military have said that they were killed.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17681-hamas-seizes-spying-israeli-electronic-insects-in-gaza.

Next Israel govt should destroy Hamas: Lieberman

16 March 2015 Monday

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that toppling Palestinian faction Hamas – which rules the Gaza Strip – should be the top priority of the next Israeli government.

“Hamas continues to dig tunnels and upgrade rockets because the Israeli leadership is weak,” Lieberman said during a tour of Netiv HaAsara, an Israeli village on the border with the Gaza Strip.

“This is why Israel has to change its way of dealing with this terrorist movement [Hamas],” he added, according to Israel Public Radio.

Lieberman said Israel could only sign an agreement with Hamas to prevent any future military confrontations only when the group’s leaders were eliminated.

Israel last attacked the Gaza Strip in July and August of 2014 for 51 days during which 2,160 Palestinians were killed and 11,000 others injured.

The offensive was launched with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from Gaza, which has been suffering an all-out Israeli blockade since 2007.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/156654/next-israel-govt-should-destroy-hamas-lieberman.

Hamas declares opening of Gaza seaport

Adnan Abu Amer

February 4, 2015

Tyler Huffman

The siege on Gaza is tightening and living conditions deteriorate day by day. Voices are speaking out about the possibility of an implosion because of a lack of any glimmer of hope for Palestinians in light of the continuing closure of crossings and the lack of reconstruction.

Amid these disastrous conditions, Alaa al-Batta, the spokesman for the Palestinian Governmental Committee for Breaking the Siege in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The commission will launch ships from the Gaza port to a number of countries. A ship is prepared to carry patients and students, to be the first vessel departing from the port in the next two months. We have begun the necessary procedures in preparation for building the seaport that will connect the Gaza Strip to the outside world. We have received approval from several countries to begin implementing maritime trips.” He did not name the participating countries.

Al-Monitor learned from government sources in Gaza, who spoke on condition of anonymity, that Turkey, Cyprus and Greece were ready to receive ships coming from the Gaza port.

On Jan. 29, 2014, Palestinian factions in Gaza called for supporting the first maritime voyage from the Gaza port, and to challenge the siege imposed by Israel. Gaza is closed off, deprived of transport and communication with the outside world, resulting in a disastrous situation for thousands of patients, students and humanitarian cases.

Al-Monitor visited the Gaza port, where a banner was hanging that read: “The Port Authority: Gaza International Port.” Written beneath it was: “Project to establish Gaza Port facilities.” There were two additional banners that indicated a departure lounge and an arrival lounge.

Hamas has long fought for the completion of the port, and the issue was included in cease-fire negotiations during the Gaza war in July and August 2014. The movement engaged in tough talks with Israel, under Egyptian auspices, to obtain preliminary approval for establishing the seaport, but it was not achieved.

Hamas knows well that the port’s operation — which was technically inaugurated Jan. 25 — should pass through legal and political procedures with Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), so that the Gaza Strip can connect with other ports on the opposite shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, Israel’s refusal of the terms of the truce pushed Hamas to make a unilateral decision — in agreement with the various factions in Gaza — to open the port on Jan. 25. This could provoke Israel, and no one knows how the latter will react to the departure of the first ship from Gaza without its consent.

Immediately after it was announced that work had begun to open the port on Jan. 25, Gaza’s residents responded with varied comments. While some welcomed the move, others wondered how the port could operate without agreement from Israel and the PA. For his part, Ismail Radwan, a Hamas leader and former minister of religious endowments, told Al-Monitor, “Opening a seaport in Gaza is linked to the truce agreement concluded after the last war, yet the occupation was not committed to implementing the agreement. We call on the countries of the world to send ships to break the siege on Gaza and inaugurate a maritime route to the Gaza Strip.”

Meanwhile, Ashraf Abu Zayed, the spokesman for the Popular Commission to Break the Siege, told Al-Monitor, “The commission has agreed with contractors to carry out construction work, to actually start establishing the port. It will be Gaza’s window to the world, in light of the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza. We’ve been in touch with a number of European ports, and they’ve expressed willingness to deal with the Gaza port.”

“We’ve contacted the French and Dutch port authorities to secure the $43 million they committed to the port project,” Abu Zayed said. “The costs for the waterway preparations that are currently underway are minor amounts, gathered from businessmen and foreign aid convoys that arrived to Gaza in the past.” He also confirmed that several European states — including Turkey, Greece and Cyprus — were prepared to receive ships through the waterway.

Abdul Fattah Abu Shakr, head of the economics department at An-Najah National University, said France and the Netherlands had pledged $43 million to establish the Gaza port. These two countries had announced that they will finance the seaport’s construction works and train the port’s workers in 2000, before the Al-Aqsa Intifada erupted.

Hatem Abu Shaaban, an engineer and a Palestinian National Council (PNC) member, said in a report published in late 2014 that the operation of the port would provide 2,000 jobs, helping to reduce unemployment in the Gaza Strip. It would also increase revenue for the government, remove Israel’s hands from Palestinian imports and exports, attract businessmen from abroad, revive tourism, facilitate the movement of people to and from Gaza, and strengthen foreign relations with all countries of the world.

Hamas is well aware that Israel will not stand idly by if the Gaza port opens without security monitoring. The Israelis say that the Gaza port, if opened, would become a sanctuary for Iranian and Turkish ships. Moreover, they will not be able to control all the borders of Gaza, nor ensure that weapons and fighters not smuggled into Gaza.

Just hours after the Gaza war ended last Aug. 26, prominent Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar was asked if he expected Israel to prevent the operation of the port. “The Palestinian people will build the seaport and the airport without seeking permission from anyone. If anyone attacks our port, we will respond by bombing their port. And if anyone attacks our airport, we will bomb their airport,” he answered, referring to the rockets launched by Hamas toward Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

The PA has refrained from commenting on Hamas’ efforts to open the Gaza port. However, a senior official from President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, said, “The PA is cautious of any effort that will separate Gaza from the West Bank, paving the way for the establishment of a mini-state outside the independent Palestinian state. So long as the port’s opening has not received official approval from the consensus government and the PA presidency, it will further the separation between Gaza and the West Bank — even if it succeeds in lightening the siege on the Gaza Strip.”

It seems that Hamas is moving forward to lift the siege on Gaza by all means possible after the cease-fire talks with Israel came to an end, and relations with Egypt were strained and the PA failed to open Gaza’s crossings to the outside world.

All of this may mean opening the door to a confrontation between Hamas and Israel, calling to mind the Turkish Mavi Marmara incident in 2010.

Source: al-Monitor.

Link: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/hamas-open-gaza-port-israel-reaction.html.

Hamas: US criticism of Meshaal’s visit to Turkey ‘shameless’

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, described on Friday the American criticism of the visit by its top leader Khalid Meshaal to Turkey as “shameless position.”

Anadolu News Agency reported Hamas Spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu-Zuhri saying in a press release: “The United States is a real enemy of the Palestinian cause.”

Abu-Zhuri reiterated that Turkey would not be affected with such a “shamefully racist position.”

Meshaal visited Turkey at the end of the last week and attended the annual conference of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.

On Thursday, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Washington was concerned about relations between Hamas and Turkey.

“We have urged the Government of Turkey to press Hamas to reduce tensions and prevent violence,” Psaki said. She added that Washington’s position toward Hamas has not changed and classifies the Palestinian group as a “designated foreign terrorist organization that continues to engage in terrorist activity.”

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/16263-hamas-us-criticism-of-meshaals-visit-to-turkey-shameless.

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

2014-12-17

By Danny Kemp

Luxembourg

The Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen for the time being, a European court ruled on Wednesday.

The original listing in 2001 was based not on sound legal judgements but on conclusions derived from the media and the Internet, the General Court of the European Union said in a statement.

But it stressed that Wednesday’s decision to remove Hamas was based on technical grounds and does “not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group.”

The freeze on Hamas’s funds will also temporarily remain in place for three months pending any appeal by the EU, the Luxembourg-based court said.

Hamas, which has been in power in the Palestinian territory of Gaza since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.

The judgement comes hours before the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state “in principle”, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations that have enraged Israel.

Hamas’s military wing was added to the European Union’s first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The EU blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003.

“The General Court finds that the contested measures are based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet,” the court said.

Instead, such an action had to be based on facts previously established by competent authorities.

– European Parliament vote –

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers were removed from the list in October after an almost identical judgement.

The lawyer for Hamas, Liliane Glock, said she was “satisfied with the decision”.

“Every decision since 2001 imposing restrictive measures, including on the armed wing, have been annulled. I believe that this judgement shows the whole world that it exists and is legal,” Glock said.

Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions, although it was a watered down version of an original motion which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally.

The motion said the parliament “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced”.

The vote came hours after a European court ordered the EU to drop the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from its terrorism blacklist on technical grounds.

The socialist, greens and radical left groups in the European Parliament had wanted an outright call for the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

But the center-right European People’s Party of European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, the leading group in parliament, forced them into a compromise motion linking it to peace talks.

“There is no immediate unconditional recognition (of statehood),” EPP chief Manfred Weber said.

But his socialist counterpart Gianni Pittella insisted it was a “historic decision” and a “victory for the whole parliament”.

Several European parliaments have passed motions urging their governments to recognize a Palestinian state in recent weeks in a bid to pressure Israel to relaunch the moribund peace process.

France, Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal have all passed votes to that end.

Sweden has gone even further, officially recognizing Palestine as a state.

Hamas was founded in 1987 shortly after the start of the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and was inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

There is a growing impatience in Europe over the failure to make progress in the Middle East peace talks.

Netanyahu demands EU immediately restore Hamas to terror list

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday demanded the EU immediately restore Hamas to its terrorism blacklist, after a European court ordered the Palestinian Islamist group’s removal.

“We are not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organisations is a ‘technical matter’,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“We expect it (the EU) to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas — a murderous terrorist organisation, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal — is an inseparable part of this list,” he said.

Hamas, which has been dominated Gaza since 2007, had appealed against its inclusion on the blacklist on several grounds.

It hailed the court’s decision as a “victory.”

Israel and Hamas fought a bloody 50-day war in July and August which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=69332.

Hamas stages military rally to mark anniversary

December 14, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Islamic militant group Hamas displayed rockets and other heavy weapons Sunday during a rally marking the 27th anniversary of its founding.

It also launched a drone that prompted Israel to scramble fighter jets in a precautionary measure, the Israeli military said. Several thousand people attended the show of force in Gaza City, a lower turnout than in previous Hamas anniversary rallies.

The group’s leaders watched from a stage, including former Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who brandished an assault rifle and flashed a V-for-victory sign. Sunday’s march came three-and-a-half months after the end of a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas. It was the third and bloodiest round of fighting between the two since late 2008, with some 2,200 people killed on the Palestinian side and 72 on the Israeli side.

Despite claims of victory by both Israel and Hamas, the fighting failed to resolve underlying conflicts that contributed to the summer war. Israel says it launched the operation in response to nonstop Hamas rocket fire. Hamas said it was fighting to lift an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade first imposed on Gaza after the Islamic militant group violently seized the territory from forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

With Sunday’s weapons display, Hamas appeared to be sending a message to both Israel and the residents of Gaza that another round of fighting is an option. Hamas also released a video with brief narration purported to be from Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of the group’s military wing and the target of repeated Israeli assassination attempts.

Israel tried to kill Deif in an August airstrike on a Gaza City home that killed one of his wives and two of the couple’s young children. Deif’s fate has remained unclear, though Hamas said at the time that he had survived.

The man in the recording identified as Deif said, “We will return to them (Israelis) with fighters that they cannot fight and will drive them out … God willing.”

Hamas creates ‘popular army’ in Gaza to confront Israel

Sat Nov 8, 2014

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has announced the formation of a “popular army” in the besieged Gaza Strip to counter the Israeli regime’s aggression.

A spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said at a ceremony at the Jabaliya refugee camp on Friday that “the first section of the popular army for the liberation of al-Aqsa and of Palestine” would consist of 2,500 recruits.

Hamas said the new force is tasked with confronting any future Israeli aggression, particularly against the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Mohammed Abu Askar, a Hamas official, also noted that individuals over 20 years old could sign up “to be prepared for any confrontation” with Israel, adding that the popular force has been created “at a moment when the al-Aqsa Mosque is subject to serious Israeli violations.”

The announcement comes as the resistance movement and the people of Gaza are angry over the recent Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Friday, Palestinian protesters held a demo at the Qalandia checkpoint, Beit Lahm and al-Khalil (Hebron) to express their anger at Israel’s decision to deny Palestinians under the age of 50 entry into the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli regime’s troops used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Earlier in the day, Tel Aviv deployed some 1,300 soldiers in and around the occupied Old City of al-Quds to suppress Palestinians protesting Israel’s violations in the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The mosque has recently been the scene of clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israelis.

Israel closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to Muslim worshippers a day after a 32-year-old Palestinian, Moataz Hejazi, made an attempt on the life of Yehuda Glick, an American-born Israeli settler, on October 29.

The Israeli rabbi ran campaigns for expansion of Israeli access to the mosque.

The al-Aqsa compound, located in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy Islamic site. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Over the past decades, Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/11/08/385192/hamas-forms-antiisrael-popular-army/.

Hamas, Fatah reach partial Gaza deal in Egypt

September 25, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The militant Palestinian Hamas group and its rival Fatah movement on Thursday reached a partial agreement on governing the Gaza Strip, signaling a major step forward in reducing their deep-seated enmity.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official said President Mahmoud Abbas’ government, which runs the West Bank, will press forward with a United Nations bid to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 war, after efforts to enlist American support for the effort ran aground.

“Work with the Americans about the possibility of joint action in the Security Council has reached an impasse,” said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, adding that he expects the Palestinian delegation in New York to propose a U.N. resolution on the issue within three weeks.

The purpose of the resolution is to set the groundwork for the formal establishment of a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, after days of discussions with Fatah leaders in Cairo, Hamas’ deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzouk seemed upbeat in describing the new Gaza deal.

“We and Fatah have reached a deal today on reconciliation,” he said. “The deal states that a (unity) government can officially assume control over government institutions in Gaza.” The deal struck behind closed doors in the Egyptian capital is the sixth official accord between the two groups, but with major issues not yet resolved — including salaries for Hamas employees in Gaza and control over the coastal territory’s security forces — concerns over possible new confrontations between the factions remain.

Outlining the deal’s provisions, Abu Marzouk said the new unity government will start making some payments to government officials in Gaza, though the question of full salaries has been left to future negotiation.

Also, he said, the government will jointly man border crossing points with Israel and Egypt and jointly administer a hoped-for Gaza reconstruction process, funded by donations from European and other western countries.

“We have set the reconstruction as high priority,” Abu Marzouk said. Hamas and Fatah have a long history of dashed hopes. They agreed in April to form a unity government in Gaza, now ruled by Hamas, but the government never really took hold amid longstanding tensions between the factions.

The tensions appear to have spiked in recent weeks over Fatah claims that Hamas’s conduct of the recent Hamas-Israel war led to unacceptably high losses of life and damage to property. The 50 day conflict in July and August in the Gaza Strip killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and left more than 18,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged.

In the spring, Abbas worked out a tentative agreement with Hamas under which he would head a temporary unity government of experts in both the West Bank and Gaza until elections could be held. However, major issues were left unresolved, including the fate of 40,000 government employees hired during the Hamas era and control over the Gaza security forces.

Hamas was mired in a severe financial crisis when it struck the deal, but has become emboldened since the end of the war because fighting with Israel boosted its popularity among Palestinians. The need to present a joint front ahead of planned donor talks for Gaza’s reconstruction may be pushing the rival factions together now, even if sustainable reconciliation remains to be achieved.

A failure to present a unified government led by Abbas is widely seen as being harmful to the reconstruction efforts. Egypt is hosting a pledging conference for Gaza on Oct. 12, but donor countries will likely hold back if Hamas — shunned by the West as a terror group — refuses to step aside as the undisputed Gaza power holder.

Azzam al-Ahmed, an Abbas aide, said Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions have now formed a committee to look into a number of pressing issues in Gaza, including the salary question. “The national committee will be able to sort this out,” he said.

Abu Marzouk said this week’s meetings yielded broad agreement on creating mechanisms to permit the import of construction materials into Gaza to let rebuilding efforts go ahead. Concerned that building materials like cement and some metals could be used by Hamas to manufacture weapons, Israel has demanded that foreign governments and international organizations involved in the reconstruction provide clear-cut safeguards against the materials’ diversion for weapons-making.

Abu Marzouk appeared to be sensitive to this concern. “What we did now is facilitating … and providing all mechanisms to help donors, and give them assurances about the process from the beginning to the end,” he said.

On the U.N. resolution aimed at establishing a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the lands captured in the 1967 war, Erekat said that a provisional draft would be ready on Friday, and that consultations with Arab and Islamic countries, the European Union, Russia, China and a number of non-aligned nations could probably be completed in two to three weeks.

Erekat said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had ruled out the possibility of American support for the U.N. route, insisting that the world body was not the proper forum for negotiating an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

In light of of continued Israeli settlement in the West Bank, he said, the American position was not tenable. “Hiding behind the call for the resumption of negotiations … is no longer viable in front of an Israeli government that uses the peace process as a cover for the continuation of settlements and imposing facts on the ground to destroy the two-state solution,” Erekat said.

Associated Press writers Maggie Michael in Cairo and Mohammed Daraghmeh in New York contributed to this report.

After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

September 02, 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) — The popularity of the Hamas militant group among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61 percent of Palestinians would choose the Islamic militant group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for president if Palestinian presidential elections were held today.

Only 32 percent would vote for current President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ rival, the survey suggested. The support for Haniyeh marks a stark increase from a poll in June, conducted by the same pollster, which found only 41 percent of Palestinians backed the Hamas figure. At the time, Abbas had 53 percent support.

The poll also suggests a majority of Palestinians — 72 percent — support adopting Hamas’ armed approach in the West Bank. The research center said it is the first time in eight years that a majority of Palestinians has voiced such support for the Hamas leader. But, it said, Hamas’ popularity might fall in coming months, as it did following previous Israel-Hamas conflicts.

Polling started on the last day of the war, on Aug. 26, and continued during the first four days of the cease-fire, the research center said. The poll said 79 percent of respondents believe Hamas won the war, and 86 percent support the renewal of rocket fire on Israel if a blockade on Gaza is not lifted, one of Hamas’ main demands.

But 25 percent said armed groups in the Gaza Strip should give up their weapons after the blockade ends and elections are held. The latest poll, and the poll in June, both surveyed 1,270 Palestinians and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

Also Tuesday, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid criticized Israel’s expropriation of West Bank land announced this week, calling for “a more reasoned approach” in Israeli diplomacy following Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

The expropriation of about 1,000 acres of West Bank land could help clear the way for new Jewish settlement construction. Lapid said such moves create “redundant arguments with the United States and the world” and criticized the timing of the announcement following the Gaza war. Israel’s Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, also criticized the move this week.

Other leading Israeli Cabinet ministers have criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conduct in the recently concluded war, with many saying he did not go far enough to neutralize Hamas’s fighting ability.

The land announcement drew strong criticism from around the world, with the U.S., EU, Ireland, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — which represents 57 Muslim countries — and others condemning it.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a strong rebuke to Israel on Tuesday over the decision and called for it to be revised. “The decision, should it remain, sends a wrong signal at the wrong time,” he said.

Netanyahu has spoken vaguely about a new “diplomatic horizon” that has emerged following the 50-day Israel-Hamas war. He has given few details on what he means. But Netanyahu has said that he is not willing to renew peace talks with Abbas unless the Palestinian leader distances himself from Hamas militants. Hamas and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority recently agreed to a unity deal that saw the formation of a government backed by both factions.

“He has to choose,” Netanyahu told Israeli Channel Two in a weekend interview. “It’s either yes to Hamas or no to Hamas.”