Israel has faced increasing criticism for its actions in Gaza.
By JONATHAN TOPAZ | 8/5/14 5:59 AM EDT
A slim plurality of Americans believe Israel’s actions against Hamas are justified, a new poll says.
According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, 42 percent of Americans say Israel’s actions against Hamas are justified, compared with 38 percent who say they are unjustified.
By contrast, only 14 percent of Americans believe that Hamas’ actions against Israel are justified, with 66 percent saying they are unjustified.
U.S. public opinion on the matter has barely moved from when Gallup last tracked the question 10 days ago.
The numbers are also similar to a survey conducted in 2002 during a period of increased Israeli-Palestinian conflict, perhaps suggesting “that Americans’ underlying attitudes about the region may be anchoring their reaction to the Gaza conflict,” the company wrote. In 2002, the survey wording used the term “Palestinians” as opposed to the “Palestinian group Hamas” phrase used in 2014.
Israel has faced increasing criticism for its actions in Gaza and the conflict’s disproportionate death toll. Almost 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since July 8, compared with 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians, according to the Associated Press. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticized Hamas for the civilian casualties, saying the group uses civilians as human shields and has terrorized Israel with rockets and through tunnel networks.
A 72-hour Israel-Hamas ceasefire began Tuesday in advance of potential peace talks in Egypt.
Tuesday’s survey reported that 59 percent of Americans say they are following the conflict at least somewhat closely, while 40 percent say not too closely or not at all. A majority report getting at least some of their information on the conflict from television or cable news, which outranked Internet news, newspapers and social media.
The survey was conducted August 2-3 with 1,019 on landlines and cellphones. The margin of error is plus-or-minus four points.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/poll-israel-justified-hamas-gaza-palestine-109717.html#ixzz39WBDxC35