Chief of Hamas' Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh is expected to beat Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in any upcoming elections, Al-Resalah newspaper reported yesterday.
A referendum carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that 41.7 per cent of the participants would vote for Abbas and 49.8 per cent for Haniyeh in any upcoming presidential elections.
The centre is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah. According to Al-Resalah, its director Khalil Shikaki told a German news agency that Abbas is losing his popularity in Gaza because of the measure he has been taking against Palestinians living in the besieged Strip.
He added that is Abbas continues to tighten measures on Palestinians in Gaza, he would have even less support.
In April, Abbas began imposing a number of measures on the besieged Gaza Strip included reduction PA payments for the electricity supplied by Israel to the enclave, reducing the shipment of medicines and medical referrals, slashing salaries of Gaza's civil servants and forcing thousands of them in to early retirement.