A majority of Israelis believe that bringing back the 136 hostages from Gaza should be the main goal of the war, according to a new poll.
Only 36% believe that toppling Hamas should be the main goal, compared to 51% saying the hostages should be prioritised.
The poll, conducted by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, comes amid large demonstrations against the government’s failure to bring back the remaining hostages and its insistence that only military pressure on Hamas can secure their release.
87% of respondents who voted for the United Arab List said that releasing hostages should be the top priority, compared to just 19% among those who voted for the far-right Religious Zionism party.
The poll also found that 71% believe that the elections should be brought forward. Of those, 38% say that elections should be held after the war while 33% that elections should be called now.
51% oppose the idea of establishing a Palestinian state as part of a solution to end the war that that will include long-term military quiet, guarantees from the United States, and a peace agreement with Arab states such as Saudi Arabia. 36% supported the solution.
The survey was conducted via the internet and by telephone (to include groups that are under-represented on the internet) between January 28–30, 2024, with 619 men and women interviewed in Hebrew and 153 in Arabic, constituting a nationally representative sample of the adult population in Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum sampling error was ±3.59% at a confidence level of 95%.
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