Monday, February 26, 2024

Nearly half of Israelis favor elections immediately after Gaza war: Poll

A recent Israeli public opinion poll showed that nearly half of Israelis want to go to elections immediately after a cease-fire enters into force in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli daily Maariv reported on the survey results published Friday, saying 45% of respondents would prefer to go to direct elections once a cease-fire is achieved in the enclave.

The newspaper noted that 28% of the respondents prefer to keep the political situation as it is, while 17% said they prefer expanding the government to include the Yair Lapid-led party, Yesh Atid, and the Yisrael Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Lieberman. The rest of the respondents did not have a specific opinion.

The latest poll, conducted by Lazar Institute on a random sample of 511 Israelis with an estimated error rate of 4.3%, revealed that if elections were to be held that day, Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would lose nearly half of its current 32 seats in the Knesset, the country’s parliament.

Meanwhile, the National Unity Party, led by Benny Gantz, would obtain 38 seats compared to its current 12 seats, with the opposition securing a total of 69 seats against 46 held by parties supporting the government.

The poll revealed that only 32% of respondents “believe that Netanyahu is the most suitable for the premiership, while 49% said that the War Cabinet Member Gantz is more suitable for the position”.

Forming a government in Israel requires obtaining the confidence of at least 61 members of the Knesset.

Disagreements within the Israeli government are escalating between ministers supporting Netanyahu’s policies on the country’s onslaught on Gaza and others trying to push for a deal to ensure the return of hostages held by Palestinian group Hamas in the enclave.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas which Tel Aviv says killed 1,200 people.

More than 27,000 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 66,000 injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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