Support for Operation Protective Edge among the Israeli Jewish public remains strong, and a majority say that Israel has racked up more successes than Hamas since the beginning of the campaign, which entered its ground phase last week, a poll conducted by Israel Hayom and the New Wave Research firm shows.
When asked if they supported or opposed Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, 80 percent of respondents replied that they supported it, 12 percent said they opposed it and 8 percent said they didn’t know. When asked if Israel should expand its current ground operation, 71 percent of respondents said yes, 17 percent said no and 12 percent were undecided.
An overwhelming 94 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the Israel Defense Forces’ performance thus far into the operation, with only 3 percent saying they were dissatisfied with how the army was handing the mission.
To the question “Should Israel make toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza a goal of Operation Protective Edge?” 65 percent of people polled replied yes, 22 percent said no and 13 percent said they didn’t know.
Most respondents were also opposed to a cease-fire. Over three-quarters (77 percent) of those polled said Israel should not agree to a cease-fire with the situation as it currently is, with 16 percent supporting a cease-fire in current conditions.
Israel was also perceived as more successful than Hamas, with 73 percent of respondents saying that Israel had gained more than the terrorist organization over the course of the operation, 19% saying neither side had gained more than the other, 4 percent saying that Hamas had achieved more, and 4 percent saying they didn’t know.
However, optimism about the operation’s ability to bring an end to rocket attacks from Gaza was low. Nearly half (49 percent) of people polled said they believed there was a “slight chance” rocket fire would stop as a result of the operation; 19 percent said the rocket fire would “certainly not stop,” 25 percent said there was “a chance rocket fire would stop,” and only 3 percent saying rocket attacks would “certainly stop” after Operation Protective Edge.
The survey also indicated widespread public support for Israel’s top political and defense echelon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the support of a large majority of respondents, 73 percent of whom said they were satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister during Operation Protective Edge. Another 16 percent said they were dissatisfied with the prime minister’s performance during the operation, and 11 percent saying they were undecided.
An even larger percentage of the public was behind IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, with 88 percent of those polled saying they were satisfied with Gantz’s conduct of the operation, 9 percent saying they didn’t know and only 3 percent saying they were dissatisfied with his performance.
When asked about the performance of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, 71 percent of people polled replied that they were satisfied, 10 percent said they were dissatisfied, and 19 percent were undecided.
When asked which politician was best suited to serve as prime minister now, nearly half (48 percent) chose Netanyahu. About 12 percent preferred Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi); 9 percent chose Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu); 5 percent chose Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Labor); 3 percent named Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnuah); and 1 percent named Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid).
The poll was conducted on July 20 among 500 Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, ages 18 and over, and had a statistical margin of error of +/- 4.4%.