Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts
JERUSALEM, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cast Lead Operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip won overwhelming support of Israeli Jews despite the heavy loss of civilian life in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday, citing a survey.
A whopping 94 percent of the Israeli Jews support or strongly support the operation while 92 percent think it is good for Israel's security, said a Tel Aviv University survey released Wednesday.
92 percent of the Israeli Jews justify Israel Air Force's attacks in Gaza despite the suffering of the civilian population in the strip and the damage they cause to infrastructure, the poll found.
More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed as the Cast Lead Operation entered its 20th day on Thursday.
The survey found 70 percent of the Israeli Jews said that the IDF ground incursion, launched on Jan. 3, was a necessary move.
Despite mounting international calls for an immediate ceasefire and a flurry of diplomatic activity to reach a ceasefire by this weekend, the survey found that 90 percent of the Israeli Jews believe that Israel should continue its operation until all its goals have been achieved.
About 80 percent of the Israeli Jews oppose the ceasefire with Hamas unless it includes the release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit seized by Hamas in June 2006 in a cross-border raid, the survey found.
Meanwhile, Israeli Arabs, who account for 20 percent of Israel's some seven million population, have the exact opposite views of Israeli Jews about the Gaza operation, according to the poll.
A total of 85 percent of the Israeli Arabs oppose the operation, while 80 percent said Israel should sign a ceasefire agreement even if it does not entail the release of Schalit.
The telephone poll, conducted between January 4-6 in the second week of the Gaza operation among 593 respondents, has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.