November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

Support for Hamas Surges in the West Bank

November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

Support for Hamas Surges in the West Bank

Latest Developments

Thirty-three Palestinian security prisoners on November 28 returned from Israeli prison to eastern Jerusalem as well as the West Bank city of Ramallah, where a local crowd greeted them with cheers. The release of the prisoners, who were guilty of a range of crimes, came as part of a deal brokered between Hamas and Israel that paused the fighting in Gaza. Palestinians have gathered daily in the West Bank to celebrate the homecoming of Palestinian prisoners and to show support for Hamas. On November 24, thousands of Palestinians gathered in Ramallah waving Palestinian flags and cheering, “the people want Hamas” as the first group of returning prisoners journeyed back to the West Bank.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas’s popularity in the West Bank is rising for several reasons. Chiefly, the Palestinian Authority has done everything it can to weaken itself in the West Bank. Corruption and arbitrary arrests of journalists and political activists have taken their toll over the years. The Palestinian street does not trust Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the alternative, Hamas, has just achieved a significant victory by forcing Israel to release Palestinian prisoners for hostages abducted on October 7.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“Hamas has a long history of taking Israeli hostages — either dead or alive. Part of its incentive to do so is to use the hostages as leverage for getting Palestinians who are guilty of violent crimes and terrorism out of Israeli jails. Unfortunately, this practice is popular with Palestinians and boosts support for Hamas in West Bank and Gaza, further weakening the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Support for Hamas Swells in the West Bank

A poll conducted after October 7 by a research organization known as the Arab World for Research and Development found that 62 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank have a “very positive” view of Hamas and 68 percent “extremely support” the attacks of October 7. Another 26 percent view Hamas somewhat positively and 15 percent “somewhat support” the October 7 massacre.

West Bank Terrorists Execute Israel Collaborators

West Bank terrorists executed two Palestinians on November 25 for collaborating with Israel. Members of a terrorist group known as the Tulkarm Brigade reportedly shot and killed the victims, after which a mob dragged the corpses to an electrical tower, where they hung the bodies for public display. The Tulkarm Brigade, affiliated with the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, said that there is “no immunity for any informant or traitor” and that it will be “on the lookout” for anyone collaborating with Israel.

IDF Battles Palestinian Terrorists in West Bank City of Tulkarm,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas-Led Terrorist Cell Thwarted in West Bank,” FDD Flash Brief

10 Things to Know About Hamas,” FDD Insight


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