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Most Jewish Israelis against freeing hostages for end of war

This type of deal would also include the release of all Palestinian security prisoners.

Women march in Tel Aviv in a protest calling for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Women march in Tel Aviv in a protest calling for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Jan. 24, 2024. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Sixty percent of Jewish Israelis oppose a deal that would see the remaining hostages returned in exchange for releasing all Palestinian security prisoners and an end to hostilities in Gaza, according to an Israel Democracy Institute survey published on Wednesday.

Broken down by political affiliation, 53% on the left would support such an agreement, as would 46% in the center and 24% on the right.

Among Arab Israeli respondents, 78.5% would support such a deal.

This week’s War in Gaza Survey is the ninth conducted by the IDI’s Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research since the start of the war that was initiated by Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion of the northwestern Negev.

When asked how long the war will last, half of the Jewish interviewees said more than another four months, an opinion that was consistently prevalent across the political spectrum and party affiliations.

In addition, nearly 50% of Jewish Israelis think that Jerusalem should act only in accordance with the judgment of Israeli leadership rather than in coordination with the Americans, while 60% of Arab Israelis believe that Israel should act only in accordance with the Americans.

Seventy-five percent of left-wing Jewish Israelis are in favor of coordination with the U.S., while 53% in the political center and 26% on the right support this view.

Moreover, the Israel Defense Forces gets high marks, with 88% of Jewish Israelis giving the military a positive assessment for its performance during the current war, with only 43% of Arab Israelis agreeing. Views of the War Cabinet were lower, with 46% of Jewish Israelis and 14% of Arab Israelis holding a positive view.

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