Most Palestinians, Israelis Back Armed Conflict

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Jerusalem, March 16 – Most Palestinians support attacks on civilians inside Israel, while most Israelis support further military strikes against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to joint polls published on Sunday.

The poll carried out by Palestinian researchers found that 54 percent of Palestinians supported attacks on civilians inside Israel compared to 42 percent who opposed them.

Israeli researchers meanwhile found that 30 percent of Israelis supported re-occupying Gaza and another 38 percent supported limited raids to combat rocket fire from the territory which has been ruled by Hamas since June 2007.

Twenty-eight percent of Israelis said their government should use “primarily diplomatic rather than military steps,” the poll found.

The polls were conducted in early March, more than a month after the end of a massive Israeli offensive on Gaza that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the 22-day war, most of them soldiers.

The poll found that 66 percent of Israelis thought the Gaza offensive was halted too soon, while 15 percent said it was stopped too late and another 16 percent said it came to an end at the right time.

Sixty percent of Israelis are afraid they or their families “may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life,” while 50 percent of Palestinians fear for their safety and security, the polls found.

The Palestinian survey was conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) and included 1,270 people interviewed in 127 locations in Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

It had a margin of error of three percent.

The survey of Israelis was carried out by the Harry S. Truman research institute at Hebrew University among 602 Israelis interviewed by phone in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

(source ANTARA/AFP)

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