Sunday, May 19, 2024

Poll shows almost 70% of British public want end to Gaza war

More than two-thirds of British people want a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, according to a survey by the pollster YouGov.

Researchers found 69 percent of respondents wanted a ceasefire and an end to Israel’s military campaign, while just 13 percent wanted it to continue.

The figures represent a 10 percent increase in those wanting an end to the conflict compared to November, 2023 – a month after the war started. Meanwhile, support for the war has come down from 20 percent during the same period.

British people were also significantly more likely to sympathise with the Palestinian side compared to the Israelis.

Polls showed 29 percent of those asked felt more sympathy with the Palestinians than Israelis on 8 May, the day the survey was carried out, while 16 percent sympathise more with the Israelis.

Close to a third of respondents said they didn’t know who they sympathised with more, at 31 percent, and another 23 percent said they sympathise equally with both sides.

Sympathy for Palestinians was lowest immediately after the Hamas-led attacks on 7 October, with just 15 percent sympathising more with the Palestinians on 9 October.

The number sympathising with Israelis also peaked around that period at 21 percent.

As the UK government refuses to pause or end arms sales to Israel, YouGov researchers also found that a majority of people in the country want a ban on the sale of weapons to Israel.

A total of 56 percent either strongly support or somewhat support a ban, with 36 percent saying strongly.

Just 20 percent oppose a ban, with 11 percent saying they felt strongly.

The figures reveal a big disparity between sentiment amongst the British public and the leaders of the UK’s ruling parties.

Both the UK opposition Labour party and the ruling Conservatives backed Israel’s war on Gaza, although Labour has since called for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Labour has also called for a pause on arms sales to Israel while the Conservative British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has argued that doing so is “not wise”.

Israel has killed at least 35,000 Palestinians since the start of the war on 7 October, when Hamas-led fighters attacked southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.

Around 133 Israelis and other nationals remain in captivity in Gaza but the number of those still living is believed to be significantly lower as Hamas says dozens have been killed in Israeli bombardment.

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