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Promises of Peace Shape Palestinian Public Opinion

Hamas candidates will do better than expected in next week's Palestinian elections because the rival Fatah party has failed so far to deliver on its promise to make progress on peace with Israel, according to a Palestinian pollster.

Dr. Khalil Shikaki, of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, says candidates from the militant Islamist group Hamas will get about 43 percent of the vote -- well more than the predicted one-third of the vote.

"The conclusion of the public is, it doesn't really matter who rules the Palestinians….," Shikaki tells Melissa Block. "Israel has no intention of moving forward on the peace process. And so the biggest asset for Fatah -- [the] ability to deliver a peace agreement with the Israelis -- isn't really operating, and that serves Hamas' interests."

Shikaki is author of a new report that shows Palestinians are increasingly willing to compromise in order to achieve a peace deal with the Israelis. The report, "Willing to Compromise, Public Opinion and the Palestinian Peace Process," is being published by the United States Institute of Peace.

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