Poll Finds Minimal Israeli Public Support for Accepting Hamas Demands

Poll Finds Minimal Israeli Public Support for Accepting Hamas Demands

A Peace Index poll reported Tuesday in The Jerusalem Post found that a majority of Israeli Jews think Israel should continue to fight in Gaza until Hamas surrenders. The poll also revealed big divisions of opinion between Israeli Arabs and Jews about the Gaza war and negotiations to end it.

Only four tenths of a percent of Israeli Jews think Israel should accept Hamas’s list of demands in order to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, revealed the monthly Peace Index poll sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University.

The poll, with a margin of error of 4.1 percent, found that 58% of Israeli Jews think Israel does not have to meet any Hamas demands and should continue to fight until Hamas surrenders. Meanwhile 41% think Israel should respond positively to those Hamas demands that are still reasonable in terms of Israel’s national security.

In negotiations to end operations in Gaza, Hamas has demanded that it be allowed to run its own airport and seaport, that border restrictions be eased, and that Israel release Hamas prisoners. Israel considers a Hamas seaport and airport to be a threat for smuggling weapons to be used against Israel.

Among Israeli Arabs, 32% think Israel should accept all Hamas demands in order to stop the rocket attacks from Gaza, and only five percent said Israel should not accept any Hamas demands and fight until a Hamas surrender.

In terms of approach, 66% of the Jewish public said Hamas should be dealt with by a combination of military and political-diplomatic efforts, 26% exclusively through military means, and seven percent through exclusively political-diplomatic means. Among Israeli Arabs, 72% said Hamas should be dealt with through only political-diplomatic efforts, 15% think through a combination of military and political-diplomatic means, and 3% think through exclusively military means.

The poll found seventy-one percent of Israeli Jews said they thought chances are low that the operation would lead to three years or more of complete quiet from Gaza.

Only 32% of the Jewish public said they were satisfied with the results of the operation so far, 41% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 27% were dissatisfied. Among Israeli Arabs, only eight percent were satisfied with the results of the operation, 64% of the Arab public was dissatisfied, and 18% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Those numbers are likely to change depending on the outcome of truce talks in Cairo.

Nearly all Israeli Jews – 97% – rated the Israeli military’s performance as very good or moderately good, while only 16% of Israeli Arabs agreed.

Reflecting a steady Rightward drift in the Jewish Israeli population, 34% of poll respondents self-identified as part of the Right, 28% as moderate Right, 22% as centrist, 9% as moderate Left, and only three percent as Left.


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