Friday, May 24, 2024

Poll shows public support for Netanyahu’s government in decline amid Gaza war

As Israel continues its military onslaught on the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party popularity continues to decline, with a recent opinion survey favoring the National Unity Party led by Benny Gantz to take over the Knesset, the parliament.

A poll published on Friday by the Israeli daily Maariv highlights a consistent decline in the Likud Party’s popularity, led by Netanyahu, similar to previous polls conducted after Oct. 7, 2023, the date the devastating war on Gaza commenced.

The latest poll, conducted by Lazar Institute on a random sample of 528 Israelis with an estimated error rate of 4.4%, showed that if elections were held today, the National Unity party would secure 32 seats in the 120-seat Knesset up from its current 12 seats.

In contrast, the poll indicated that the Likud party would only secure 17 seats, down from its current 32 in the parliament.

The opposition Yesh Atid party led by opposition leader Yair Lapid would obtain 15 seats, the poll said.

Meanwhile, the opposition New Hope party led by Gideon Sa’ar, which withdrew from the National Unity party, would obtain four seats.

The opinion poll showed the group supporting Netanyahu would win 44 seats, while the group against him would win 66 seats.

To form a government in Israel, at least 61 votes are required in the Knesset. This suggests that if elections were held today, Netanyahu would not be able to form a government.

Given Netanyahu’s reluctance to hold early elections, there is no imminent prospect of a vote in Israel.

The poll also showed that 42% of participants support holding elections now, while 50% say that elections must be held after the war.

Regarding the protests demanding a hostage exchange deal with Hamas, 46% of the participants considered that the escalation of protests “does not promote” the return of Israeli hostages, while 31% of the protests supported the escalation, at a time when 23% did not specify their opinions.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which nearly 1,200 Israelis were killed.

Nearly 33,100 Palestinians have since been killed and more than 75,700 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli army has also imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving most of the population, particularly residents of the north, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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