Poll Shows Large Majority in Favor of Military Action Against Hamas

YERUSHALAYIM -
A demonstrator reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a riot at the Gaza border, last week. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

The situation in southern Israel caused by terrorism from the Gaza Strip has become intolerable for a large majority of Israelis, the latest edition of the Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University says. According to the survey, 61 percent of Israeli Jews thinks that the IDF should launch a wide-scale military operation against Hamas in Gaza if it continues its terror campaign against Israel.

Perhaps surprisingly, 16 percent of Israeli Arabs were in favor of an Israeli operation against Hamas in Gaza. With that, 69 percent of Arabs were opposed to such an operation. According to the survey, the large majority of Israeli Jews in favor of an operation against Hamas were supporters of the right, of whom 75 percent responded that if the ceasefire is violated Israeli interest requires launching a sizable military campaign.

Seventy percent of Israeli Jews and 34 percent of Israeli Arabs agree with Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman’s recent diagnosis that the ongoing provocations along the Gaza border, encouraged by Hamas, are intended to draw Israel into a wide-scale military operation in Gaza.

In the north, 78 percent of Israeli Jews think that Israel should provide victims of the Syrian civil war with medical aid and food. According to the poll, the Jewish public does not have a clear-cut position on whether President Assad’s imminent victory in the Syrian civil war and success in entrenching his rule there, is a positive or negative development with regard to Israel’s interests. 43.5 percent say it is not a positive development and 34 percent consider it positive.

The Arab public too is divided on this question: 38 percent regard Assad’s successes as a positive development from Israel’s standpoint, while 33.5 percent see it as a negative one, the survey said.