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Poll: Fatah, Hamas should reconcile

Poll: Fatah, Hamas should reconcile
Palestinian protesters shout slogans during a rally marking Land Day near the southern Gaza border with Israel, east of Rafah, on March 30, 2013. The Israeli army fired bullets in the air, to break up groups of Palestinians as annual Land Day rallies turned violent. Land Day commemorates the killing by security forces of six Arabs in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate land in northern Israel's Galilee region. UPI/Ismael Mohamad | License Photo

RAMALLAH, West Bank, April 10 (UPI) -- Most Palestinians believe Fatah and Hamas should reconcile even if that spurs sanctions from Israel and the United States, an Israeli poll indicates.

Those surveyed could not agree, however, on which party was responsible for the current political split, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported Wednesday.

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More than 90 percent of respondents surveyed by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center said the Fatah and Hamas organizations should pursue reconciliation despite the possible consequences. Nearly 60 percent said the two groups were acting in their interests rather than the national interests of Palestinians.

The militant Hamas got the blame for the division and failure of reconciliation negotiations from 28.6 percent, while 19.8 percent blamed Fatah. Some 22.3 percent blamed both sides.

The poll found the popularity of Hamas had dropped significantly, from 28.2 percent in a December 2012 survey to 20.6 percent.

A majority, 87.5 percent, said the Palestine Liberation Organization should be reformed to include all relevant Palestinian political parties.

Slightly fewer, 83.8 percent, supported resistance by non-violent means. Some 78.9 percent said those efforts should be intensified.

Some 60.2 percent said military operations harmed Palestinian interests. Those who supported military operations against Israel fell dramatically, from 50.9 percent in December to 31.1 percent in the new poll.

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The number of people surveyed, the dates the survey was conducted and the margin of error were not reported.

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