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Netanyahu receives bump in polls following Gaza offensive

Likud and its coalition partners would still be unable to form a government with the current ratings

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, May 15, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The popularity ratings for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party have gone up since the beginning of Operation Shield and Arrow to counter rockets fired from Gaza into Israel.

According to surveys released on Sunday evening by Channel 12 news, Channel 13 news and Kan public broadcaster, Likud and Netanyahu are faring better than in previous polls, although the party and its coalition partners would still be not be able to form a government with the current ratings, if elections were to take place today.

Operation Shield and Arrow was launched by the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, one week after the terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), fired more than 100 rockets into Israel from Gaza. The Jewish state said the strikes were a “response to incessant aggression on the part of the Islamic Jihad organization.”

Israel killed three senior members of Islamic Jihad on the first day of the military operation. Since then, more than 1,400 rockets were launched by terrorists toward Israeli cities.

All three Israeli TV broadcasters showed that the opposition experienced a slight dip compared to the coalition. According to Channel 12 news, the parties in the current government would receive a total of 54 seats, while the opposition would gain 61 seats. Hadash-Ta’al, the Arab political faction, which has said it would not join any government, would earn 5 seats. 

Polls in early May suggested that former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz continues to lead Netanyahu in several polls regarding “suitability for prime minister.” On average, some 48% of the respondents favored Gantz while 42% favored the incumbent Netanyahu. 

While Israel is not expected to hold elections anytime soon, if it fails to pass the state budget by the end of May, it could bring down the government and send Israel to yet another round of elections.

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

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