A poll released Monday evening showed a massive drop in the Israeli public’s opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance, as well as dissatisfaction with the way the government is handling the needs of southern communities battered by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
The poll, commissioned by Channel 2 and conducted by Shiluv Millward Brown, showed that on August 25 — 49 days into Operation Protective Edge — only 38 percent of Israelis “supported” Netanyahu, while a full 50% were dissatisfied, according to a Monday news report.
The number represents a steep decline for Netanyahu and shows a steady deterioration over the course of Operation Protective Edge. According to the poll, just four days previously, on August 21, his approval rating was 55%; and three weeks previously, on August 5, his approval rating stood at 63%.
On July 23, shortly after the start of the ground operation in Gaza aimed at destroying Hamas’s “terror tunnels,” Netanyahu’s approval rating was 82%, according to Channel 2.
The poll results were released without information on sample size, methodology or margin of error, and a Channel 2 staff member reached on its news desk declined to give further details.
The poll also showed that 68% of Israelis think that the government has not been dealing well with the situation of citizens who live in Gaza-adjacent communities, as opposed to 24% who think that the government has been handling it well.
A majority of Israelis — 63% — opined that, given the situation, the school year in southern communities should not begin as usual on September 1; 18% said that school should begin across Israel despite the threat of rocket fire; and 15% said that school should not open at all across the country.