The popularity of Hamas has risen among Palestinians after it strongly resisted the recent Israeli incursions into the Gaza Strip.
"A major shift in Hamas’s favor occurred during the last three months with about 10 percent of the population shifting their attitudes and perceptions," said the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research in a statement accompanying the results of an opinion poll.
Referring to Israeli attacks on the coastal territory and Hamas’s breaching of the Gaza Strip’s Rafah border crossing with Egypt in January, the commentary said "these developments managed to present Hamas as successful in breaking the siege and as a victim of Israeli attacks. "
"These also presented Palestinian president Abbas and his Fatah faction as impotent, unable to change the bitter reality in the West Bank or ending Israeli occupation through diplomacy," it added.
Therefore, 56 percent of those questioned said they were "unsatisfied" with Abbas, compared with 41 percent who said they were satisfied.
The poll showed that if new presidential elections were held, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would receive 47 percent of the vote compared with 46 percent for Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah faction.
It also found that if new parliamentary elections were to take place, Hamas would receive 35 percent of the vote and Fatah 42 percent, compared to 46 percent for Fatah and 34 percent for Hamas in an opinion poll in January.
The center’s previous poll, in December, gave Gaza-based Haniyeh just 37 percent of a potential presidential vote compared with 56 percent for Abbas, whose talks with Israel are opposed by Hamas.