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Poll Reflects The Israeli Public Divided on Negotiating with Hamas Amidst Hostage Crisis



In a recent survey conducted by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, it has been revealed that an increasing number of Israelis are in favor of immediate negotiations with Hamas for the release of hostages in Gaza. However, a notable division exists on the conditions under which these negotiations should take place.



The survey, carried out on November 5-6, 2023, involved 606 participants, comprising both men and women. Of these, 502 interviews were conducted in Hebrew, while 104 were in Arabic. The margin of error for the full sample is reported to be four points.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 38% Support Negotiations During Ongoing Conflict: Nearly four out of 10 Israelis (38%) expressed the opinion that Israel should immediately begin negotiations with Hamas for the release of hostages, but should continue military operations concurrently. This marks an increase from 32% recorded in a similar survey conducted about two weeks earlier.



  • 22% Oppose Negotiations Altogether: Approximately one in five respondents (22%) took a firm stance against negotiations, asserting that Israel should not engage in talks to trade Hamas prisoners for the release of hostages.

  • 10% Support Negotiations Post-Conflict: A smaller percentage (10%) suggested that Israel should only engage in negotiations after the fighting has ceased.

  • 21% Advocate Immediate Negotiations: About one in five respondents (21%) expressed the opinion that negotiations should begin immediately, even if it meant halting the ongoing military operations.



These findings underscore the diversity of perspectives within the Israeli public regarding the approach the government should take in dealing with the hostage crisis in Gaza. The shifting opinions, particularly the rise in support for negotiating while continuing military actions, reflect the complex nature of public sentiment surrounding the ongoing conflict.

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