(Ynet).A majority of the Jewish public in Israel opposes a ceasefire in Gaza
without kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's release.
The respondents were asked, "If a ceasefire agreement with Hamas could be
reached, but without including Gilad Shalit's release, do you believe Israel
should or should not sign such an agreement?" About 76.5% gave a negative
answer, while only 17.5% responded positively.
Asked whether Israel should or should not halt its military activity in the
Strip if Hamas is ready to stop firing on southern communities in exchange
for the opening of the crossings, 80% responded negatively. In other words,
the majority of the public believes Israel should not halt its operation
even if Hamas accepts such an offer.
94% of the Jewish public said they support or very much support the operation, 92% said they believe it benefits Israel in terms of security.
About 92% of the population justifies the Air Force strikes in Gaza despite
the damage caused to infrastructure and the civilian population's suffering.
The decision to send in ground forces was also widely supported, with 70%
saying this was a necessary move.
Asked whether the operation must be continued, a vast majority of 90% saying the operation should be continued until Israel reaches all of its goals.
This support was accompanied by the estimate of 70% of the public that the
chances of the operation achieving all of its goals are high or quite high,
and that the government has a clear plan of action as to ways to continue
the operation (75%).
In light of the wide support, it's not surprising that the leaders linked to
the operation receives relatively high trust scores.
IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi leads the trust scale with 85%. This is
likely because the IDF is considered "above" the political arena.
Ashkenazi is followed by President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud
Barak (62%), and by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Opposition Chairman
Benjamin Netanyahu (53%). Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is located at the
bottom of the trust scale with only 44%.