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Majority of Israelis dissatisfied with Gaza war progress - poll

A solid majority of Israelis (62%) are dissatisfied with the current Gaza war progress, according to a fresh Israeli poll conducted by the respected pollster Dr. Menachem Lazar for the news outlet Maariv.

The results of the poll, which was conducted in cooperation with Panel4All, come as the Israel-Hamas war crosses the half-year mark on Sunday, with no immediate end in sight.

Less than 1 in 3 Israelis are happy with the current status of the war after six months of conflict with the terrorist organization Hamas. About 9% of respondents said they were neutral about the war's progress.

Israelis who support the Netanyahu coalition government tended to be more positive, with 61% saying they were happy with the current situation, and only 6% expressing dissatisfaction.

By contrast, a whopping majority (79%) of anti-government respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the war in Gaza. Only 17% of those who oppose the Netanyahu government said they were happy with the current situation.

While the government coalition currently has a majority in the Knesset, opinion polls suggest that the public’s overall support for Netanyahu and his government is decreasing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed the status as Israel’s most popular politician for many years, popularly known as “Mr. Security,” also with a savvy approach to economic affairs. However, the Oct. 7 Hamas attack seems to have undermined the Israeli public’s trust in Netanyahu and his government.

A Maariv poll in January indicated that the Israeli public preferred Netanyahu’s political rival, Benny Gantz, to be the nation's next prime minister.

Gantz’s National Union party would emerge as the largest political party with 39 seats in the Knesset, according to the poll. By contrast, the poll predicted that if elections were to be held, Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party would be reduced from its current 32 seats to a mere 16.

Israel Defense Forces have noted several impressive military achievements with the neutralization of 19 out of 24 Hamas battalions. Netanyahu focused on those when he addressed his Security Cabinet on Sunday.

"Today we are marking six months of the war. The achievements of the war are considerable: We have eliminated 19 of Hamas's 24 battalions, including senior commanders. We have killed, wounded, or captured a large number of Hamas terrorists. We have cleared out Shifa and other terrorist command centers as well," Netanyahu told the cabinet.

"We have destroyed factories for producing rockets, command centers, and stores of weapons and ammunition, and we are continuing to systematically destroy underground installations. However, the price that we have had to pay has been painful and high,” he added.

However, in recent weeks, the war in Gaza has come to a near standstill, with uncertainty as to whether the Israeli government will eventually greenlight a military operation against the bulk of Hamas’ remaining forces, which are concentrated in Rafah, a town in southern Gaza close to the Egyptian border.

Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials have repeatedly stressed that a Rafah operation is essential to defeat Hamas as a military and political force in Gaza. Many of the remaining Israeli hostages are believed to be held somewhere in Rafah.

However, the statements from Israeli government officials may contradict what is happening on the ground, as the Israeli military announced on Sunday that it has withdrawn most of its forces from southern Gaza.

After six months of war, about 130 Israeli hostages are still held in Gaza, the Hamas regime is still intact, and the even greater threat of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror forces in Lebanon looms on Israel's northern border.

Around 80,000 Israelis living in the north have been evacuated from their homes and remain displaced, with no clear indication yet of when they might be able to return.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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