Dr Mike Evans

60% of Israelis support continued war in Gaza, report says

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) sheds light on the diverse perspectives held by Israelis regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The findings reveal that a significant majority, comprising 61% of respondents, support the continuation of military operations by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) until the collapse of the Hamas terrorist group, even if it means that not all hostages are rescued. A majority of 60% opposed the demand by Hamas for Israel to cease military actions and withdraw from Gaza as a condition for releasing hostages.

In terms of the potential transfer of power in Gaza following the conflict, only a small fraction, 5% of Israelis, express support for handing control to the Palestinian Authority (PA). However, a larger portion, 34%, indicated willingness to consider such a move if the PA leadership were to recognize the State of Israel and if there were international oversight. Conversely, 44% of respondents object to any scenario involving PA governance in the enclave.

The survey also highlights the levels of trust among Israelis in key institutions. While confidence in the IDF remains notably high at 86%, there is a slight downward trend compared to previous surveys. Trust in the Israel Police Force stands at 57%, whereas trust in the Israeli government is notably lower, at 24%.

Despite initial optimism regarding the outcome of the conflict, with 78% of respondents initially believing in an IDF victory, there has been a significant decrease from the initial 92% figure.

Additionally, an increasing number of Israelis are expressing doubts about the exclusively security-focused nature of government decisions regarding the conflict (64%) and hostage affairs (56%), suggesting a perceived influence of political considerations on these matters.