Arabic Poll Shows Support For Suicide Attacks Throughout Israel

By Julie Stahl | July 7, 2008 | 8:12 PM EDT

Jerusalem ( - The website of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction launched an interactive poll in Arabic on Wednesday, asking readers if they favored "martyrdom" attacks within Israel; within the West Bank and Gaza Strip; in both places; or neither.

The poll asked: "Do you favor martyrdom attacks... within Israel's 1948 lines; within Israel's 1967 lines [West Bank and Gaza Strip]; within both 1948 and 1967 lines [Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip]; not in favor of any martyrdom attacks."

The results of the poll during the afternoon showed that 5.5 percent of the respondents favored suicide attacks within Israel's 1948 borders; 13 percent favored attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; about 71 percent favored attacks in both Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and just over 10 percent opposed "martyrdom" attacks altogether.

Israel's Government Press Office issued a press release containing the information on Wednesday afternoon.

Daniel Seaman, director of the GPO, declined to comment on the poll. The GPO put the poll results out without comment, with only a link to the Arabic website itself.

"It speaks for itself," Seaman said. "It's the official site of Fatah."

Fatah officials have been meeting for the last few days with Hamas to improve relations and coordination with the group in order to continue their struggle against Israel.

Reports from the meetings said that Fatah had tried to convince Hamas to carry out suicide attacks only in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem.

But on Sunday the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility for a shooting terrorist attack on a community in northern Israel that left five dead, including two children.

Hamas opposes any negotiated settlement with Israel and is fighting to eliminate Israel altogether.

Arafat's Fatah and the PA say they favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and want to establish an independent Palestinian state in only the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Skeptics charge that a state in the disputed areas is only part of the PLO's phased plan to do anything it can to get rid of Israel altogether.