With Israel's unilateral retreat from the Gaza Strip on the horizon, the Palestinian Arabs believe anti-Jewish terrorism has done more to help them achieve their nationalistic goals than bilateral negotiations ever could have.
This according to the results of a new Palestinian public opinion poll. The results appeared to contradict Western assertions that the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs oppose violence against their Jewish neighbors, and that Islamic terrorism in this region is a fringe phenomenon rather than a widely accepted strategy.
Between September 23 and 26, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted a poll among a random sampling of 1,319 Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The poll found that the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs continue to support the terrorist murder of Jewish men, women and children.
Seventy-seven percent said they stood firmly behind the massacre of Israeli civilians in a double suicide bombing aboard public buses in the Negev town of Beersheva last month.
Similarly, 75 percent said they back the continued firing of Kassam rockets by Hamas into the Negev town of Sderot. Two Israeli preschoolers were killed in a Kassam attack last week.
Attacks such as the Beersheva bombings and the constant rocket barrages on Sderot have served the Palestinians in achieving their nationalistic goals more than bilateral negotiations with the Jewish state ever could, some 64 percent of respondents said.
This is especially true in light of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally retreat from the Gaza Strip, which 74 percent of those polled saw as a clear victory for Palestinian terrorism.
Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated that with victory in hand, they would now be willing to consider a mutual cessation of violence.
[Ed. Note - It is important to note that the desire for a cessation of violence among most Palestinians, and as voiced by the PA on several occasions, is because such violence more often than not 'harms' Palestinian national interests as well as individuals' person security. It is rarely if ever a result of remorse stemming from the brutal and intentional murder of Jewish men, women and children.]
Also included in the survey was a list of practices that have become commonplace over the past four years, which the respondents were asked to label as either 'acceptable' or 'unacceptable'.
Among those practices the Palestinians would like to see abolished were the assassination of PA officials and Arab journalists, the burning of PA offices and the kidnapping of foreign aid workers and journalists.
The firing of mortars and rockets at Jewish towns and the brutal mutilation and murder of Palestinians suspected of cooperating with Israel in its war on terror were deemed acceptable practices by the vast majority of respondents.