Over 90 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Operation Protective Edge is justified, with less than 4% saying they think Israeli has used excessive firepower against targets in the Gaza Stip, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI).
The monthly Peace Index poll, which was conducted by IDI and Tel Aviv University among 647 Jewish Israelis, focused on Israeli public opinion on Operation Protective Edge and the conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Three successive surveys carried out on July 14, July 16-17, and July 23 among Jewish Israelis revealed near-unanimity in that sector of Israeli society on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, with an overwhelming majority of participants indicating they believed the offensive was justified. Over the course of three surveys, an average of 95 percent of respondents — 96% in the first poll, 92% in the second and 97% in the third — said they thought the operation was warranted.
Meanwhile, only 3 to 4% of participants said they thought the Israeli military has used excessive firepower throughout the operation in Gaza — 3.1% in the first poll, 3.8% in the second and 3.7% in the third.
Nearly 50% on average — 48%, 37% and 60% in each of the three polls — believed that the IDF used an appropriate level of firepower, while about 45% on average (45%, 57%, and 33% in each poll) said they thought insufficient firepower had been used.
With regard to the prospect of a ceasefire, about 80% of respondents voiced their opposition to a unilateral Israeli ceasefire lasting 48 hours and continuing for a longer period of time if rocket fire stops. Most — about 65% — also said they would not support an immediate ceasefire in order to discuss terms for a longer-term truce. Most participants, just over 60%, said they would agree to a ceasefire only if an agreement were reached on conditions for sustaining quiet on the Gaza border.
Most respondents — 77%, 65%, and 50% — also said they believed there would be another round of clashes with Hamas. A minority – 8 percent, 16% and 30% — said they thought a long-term ceasefire would be achieved.
In other areas, the majority of respondents said they were very satisfied with the government’s conduct during the operation, rating it on average as 8.0, 6.3, and 8.0 on a scale of 1 to 10 over the course of the three surveys. The Home Front Command, meanwhile, was rated on average as 9.1, 8.6, and 9.1. Municipalities and local councils also garnered high ratings — 8.6, 8.0, and 8.2.
The poll showed that most Israeli Jews believed the Israeli Jewish public had behaved well during the course of the conflict, rating it as 8.9, 8.2, and 8.7. The conduct of the Israeli Arab public, on the other hand, was rated as 4.0, 3.4, and 3.4 over the course of the three surveys.
IDI did not indicate if developments in the conflict between Israel and Gaza accounted for the differences between the results of the three polls.