update deskIsrael at War

Two in three Jews favor IDF security control in Gaza post-war

Around 53% of Jewish respondents told TAU pollsters they support the establishment of Israeli communities in the Strip.

Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 9, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 9, 2024. Credit: IDF.

Just over two in three Israeli Jews, or about five million people, believe Israel should retain full security control over the Gaza Strip after the war with the Hamas terrorist organization there ends, according to the most recent “Peace Index” survey released by Tel Aviv University this week.

The university’s Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences polled a representative sample of 605 Israeli adults—Jews and Arabs—between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15. (The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%, Tel Aviv University said.)

According to the survey, 68.9% of the Jewish Israeli public favors Israel Defense Forces security control in Gaza, while a quarter favors rule by international and regional Arab forces. Only 2.2% think the Palestinian Authority should be in charge of security in the Strip.

Around 53% of the Jewish respondents said they support the establishment of Israeli civilian communities in the coastal enclave.

Of the entire sample, including Israeli Arabs, 58.5% said they preferred IDF security control in Gaza, 27.1% said they favored an international force and 5.8% wants the Ramallah-based P.A. to be in charge of security after the war.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly said that Gaza must be handed over to the P.A. following hostilities. The solution “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the P.A.,” the senior diplomat stressed late last year.

Asked whether they support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, 66% of the Jewish respondents said they were opposed to such a move, while 27% expressed support for the creation of a “Palestine.”

Slightly more than half of the Jewish public said the IDF has used “appropriate force” in the war against Hamas. Meanwhile, 43.4% answered that the military has used “too little force.”

Almost 90% of Israeli Jews agree that the number of casualties on the Palestinian side is entirely or relatively justified, the Tel Aviv University poll found.

A slight majority of Israeli Jews said the government should regard “the destruction of Hamas in any way possible” as the primary objective of “Operation Swords of Iron,” while most Israeli Arabs defined “returning the hostages from Gaza in any way possible” as the most important goal.

Israel has been at war with Hamas since the terrorist group invaded the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7, murdering some 1,200 people, wounding thousands more and kidnapping more than 240. Israel’s stated goals are to destroy Hamas as a political and military entity in Gaza, free the hostages and ensure that Gaza can never again threaten Israel.

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