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A recent Gallup survey shows that a majority of Americans now disapprove of Israel’s military operations against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. The survey found that 55% of US adults disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza, compared to just 36% who approve. This marks a significant change from November when 50% approved and 45% disapproved in the aftermath of a terror attack by Hamas. The poll was published as tensions between the Biden administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached a new low over the conduct of the ongoing war.

According to the poll, only 18% of self-identified Democrats approve of Israel’s actions in Gaza, down from 36% in November, with 75% now expressing disapproval. Among self-identified Republicans, support for the military response has also waned, with 64% approving (down from 71% in November) and 30% disapproving. Fewer than three in 10 self-described independents approve of Israel’s actions, while 60% disapprove. Support for Israel was higher among those closely following the war in the Middle East.

The survey also revealed that President Biden’s approval rating for his handling of the Middle East conflict is at just 27%, the lowest for any major issue. Last week, the US allowed the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza by abstaining rather than exercising its veto. This move did not condition a cease-fire on the release of an estimated 100 hostages held in Gaza, along with the remains of around 30 prisoners believed to have died in captivity. Israeli officials publicly criticized the Biden administration over this decision.

Despite the tensions, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with top US officials this week, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. However, negotiations in Qatar aimed at securing the release of hostages quickly broke down after Hamas demanded that Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza and approve an exchange of Palestinian prisoners. The Gallup poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points and was conducted from March 1-20 among 1,016 adults.

Overall, the Gallup survey reflects a significant shift in American public opinion on Israel’s military operations in Gaza, with a clear majority now disapproving of the Jewish state’s actions. While support for Israel remains slightly higher among Republicans, it has also decreased among this group along with self-described independents. President Biden’s handling of the Middle East conflict has also received low approval ratings, indicating dissatisfaction with his approach. Tensions between the US and Israeli administrations have escalated over the issue of a cease-fire and the release of hostages in Gaza, leading to strained diplomatic relations. Despite these challenges, high-level meetings between Israeli and US officials continue in an effort to address the ongoing conflict.

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