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Arch-terrorists emerge as frontrunners for Palestinian presidency

Conservative Review

If you wondered why Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was so unwilling to do the reasonable and humane act of stopping payments to terrorists, you now have your answer.

A recent poll shows that the Palestinian public prefers a leader even more radical than the terror-inciting Abbas, who has a long history of stirring up militant action against Israel.

More than nine in 10 Palestinians want their governing body to continue paying salaries to jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed in “martyrdom” operations against innocent Israelis, a new poll finds.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) finds that Abbas has become deeply unpopular among Palestinians, accumulating only 31 percent support.

Palestinians prefer Marwan Barghouti — a convicted terrorist currently held in an Israeli prison for the murder of five people — to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Hamas terrorist organization, comes in second in presidential preference. Haniyeh has endorsed suicide operations as part of a genocidal campaign to destroy Israel.

“If presidential elections were between three: Mahmoud Abbas, Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 22%, Barghouti 41% and Haniyeh 32%,” the PSR states.

The poll also finds that only 7 percent of Palestinians support cutting off salaries to terrorists, while 91 percent are opposed. The “martyrs fund” paid out $183 million to 26,800 Palestinian families last year. Additionally, 6,500 jihadi prisoners took home a total of $135 million altogether, according to the 2016 Palestinian Authority budget.

Earlier this week, Abbas vowed to never stop paying terrorists.

"'Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted,” Abbas said, according to a Palestinian Media Watch translation.

White House officials have continued to push Palestinian leadership to stop terrorist payments as a show of goodwill to the Israelis. Trump envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, have repeatedly asked a defiant Abbas to shut down the martyr fund, but have not had any success in stopping the terrorist-funding pipeline.

In addition to their overwhelming support for jihad against Israel, it might not come as a surprise that Palestinians also tend to be virulently anti-Semitic. A global survey in 2015 found that Palestinians are the world’s most anti-Semitic people, with 93 percent harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

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