Hamas Support Grows in West Bank

Palestinians call for tougher stance from president
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 6, 2009 10:38 AM CST
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.   (AP Photo/Fadi Arouri)
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(Newser) – As violence continues in Gaza, support for Hamas is growing in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, the New York Times reports. Though demonstrations of solidarity with Hamas have thus far been relatively small, West Bank residents see Gaza as “part of themselves,” writes Steven Erlanger. Still, there’s little appetite for uprising after years of conflict. “The people are tired,” says a restaurateur.

In Times interviews, West Bank Palestinians said they wanted Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, to more strongly condemn Israel; they also said they felt threatened by Abbas’ security forces amid a crackdown on open support for Hamas. “They only want Fatah here, despite the fact that 80% of the people are in total solidarity with Gaza and against the repression of the Palestinian Authority,” a lawyer said.