Poll: Public divided over Israel's actions

The public remains divided over whether Israel’s actions toward Hamas have been justified, though more are critical of Hamas’s actions, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday. 

Forty-two percent of people in the United States said Israel’s actions are justified, while 38 percent said they are unjustified. Twenty-one percent said they have no opinion. 

Only 14 percent said Palestinians’ actions against Israel are justified; 66 percent said they are unjustified.

Public opinion of Israel’s actions has changed little over the last 10 days since Gallup conducted its last poll on the issue. Slightly more people, however, now say Hamas’s actions are justified. 


A Gallup survey conducted during the Second Intifada in 2002 indicates public opinion hasn’t changed much. 

Forty-four percent of the U.S. public that year said Israel’s actions were justified, while 34 percent said they were unjustified. Seventeen percent said Palestinians’ actions toward Israel were justified but more than 60 percent said they were unjustified.

The latest Gallup poll found 60 percent of people said they are following the current conflict “very” or “somewhat closely.”

People who are paying the closest attention to the conflict are more likely to say Israel’s actions are justified, Gallup said. Those who use the Internet and social media are more likely to say Hamas’s actions are mostly justified. 

The survey comes the same day that Israel Defense Forces withdrew its ground troops from the Gaza Strip as a three-day cease-fire took effect. Delegations from both sides are expected to hold talks in Cairo, Egypt, in an effort to strike a longer-term deal. 

The poll, which surveyed 1,019 adults between Aug. 2 and 3, has a 4 percentage point margin of error.