A majority of voters in the U.S. say they support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and oppose the idea of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as the war between the two continues, according to a new poll. The majority of those polled said they view Netanyahu favourably, and more than two-thirds agree with the Israeli prime minister’s rejection of calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. Weeks into the war between Israel and the Islamic terrorist group, some political groups and religious organizations have called for a ceasefire in response to the carnage inflicted on the Gaza Strip’s civilian population as Hamas refuses to allow civilians to relocate to safety. The war comes after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel in which Hamas militants tortured, raped, and murdered some 1,400 people, the majority of which were civilians, including 30 Americans. Thousands more civilians were injured, and as many as 250 people were taken hostage by Hamas into Gaza.
According to findings announced by Rasmussen Reports on Wednesday, 54% of likely U.S. voters have a positive opinion of Netanyahu, versus 31% who view him negatively and 15% who were unsure. Additionally, 68% of respondents supported Netanyahu’s statement that a ceasefire is tantamount to surrendering to Hamas and terrorism, with 21% disagreeing with the prime minister and 10% being unsure. The report drew from a survey of 995 U.S. voters conducted from Oct. 31- Nov. 2 by Rasmussen, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% confidence level. The recent report also found that 59% of surveyed American voters have more sympathy for the Israelis, while 18% have more sympathy for the Palestinians, and 23% were undecided. Rasmussen found a party divide in the sympathy question, as 70% of Republican respondents sympathized more with Israel, while 48% of Democrat respondents said the same. Sixty percent of unaffiliated respondents sympathized more with Israel.
In response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, Israel has launched extensive retaliatory attacks on the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has situated the bulk of its forces, having reportedly killed large numbers of terrorists and civilians. According to unverified claims made by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed. However, one Biden administration official stated that the death toll might be higher. Barbara Leaf, assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the death toll is likely “higher than is being cited.” “In this period of conflict and conditions of war, it is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are,” said Leaf, as quoted by The Hill. “We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.” Leaf went on to say that people will “know only after the guns fall silent,” adding that “I can’t stipulate to one figure or another, it’s very possible they’re even higher than is being reported.”
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