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Poll Finds 1 in 2 Israelis Don’t Want Expanded Ground Assault Right Now

Israel’s military appears to have launched a ground invasion of Gaza over the weekend.

An aerial view shows civil defense teams and civilians conduct search and rescue operations around Bilal Masjid, in Gaza City on on October 29, 2023.

A recently published poll of Israeli residents suggests that one in two Israelis oppose a ground assault in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which was launched hours after the release of the survey.

The poll asked about the possibility of the IDF intensifying its relentless siege of Gaza by executing a ground assault, and was published in the newspaper Maariv on Friday, hours before Israeli forces appeared to launch a ground invasion.

Only 29 percent of respondents in the poll said that there should be a ground invasion immediately. A plurality of respondents in the poll (49 percent) said it “would be better to wait” before beginning such a large-scale attack. Another 22 percent were undecided.

The newspaper noted that just one week prior, a poll asking the same question found broader support for a land invasion of Gaza. Israelis’ growing opposition to such a move may be the result of more images emerging of the devastation wrought by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza, in spite of efforts by the Israeli government to suppress information about the scale of the civilian casualties.

Israeli forces have killed at least 8,000 Palestinians — including more than 3,000 children — in its current genocidal military campaign, which was launched in response to a Hamas-led infiltration attack that killed more than a thousand Israelis on October 7. Since then, Israeli airstrikes have leveled residential neighborhoods in Gaza, wiping entire families off the population registry and displacing more than a million Palestinians.

This past weekend, Israel began its long-anticipated ground assault, with the IDF reportedly killing nearly 600 Palestinians on the ground, including near two hospitals in Gaza.

Describing Israel’s assault on Gaza as a genocide is not only appropriate but urgently necessary, Prism’s Lara Witt and Tina Vásquez wrote in a Prism op-ed that also appeared on Truthout.

“Despite the facts on the ground, American news outlets refuse to identify what’s happening in Gaza as genocide, citing a lack of evidence for the term,” the duo wrote. But looking at “the very definition of genocide,” including “the metrics for identifying it under international law,” Israel’s attacks on Gaza must be defined as genocidal, they argued.

“The definition is clear and concise: the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group,” Witt and Vásquez said.

“For those reporters on the fence about how to do their jobs, to editors who have tremendous power in shaping stories and influencing public opinion, for newsrooms obscuring the obvious in favor of the easy: Genocide is an evidence-based term, and it is here,” the writers concluded.

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