A majority of Americans said the Islamist militant group Hamas is responsible for the recent violence in Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza, according to polling data.
In a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey shared Monday with The Hill, 60% of respondents said Hamas is responsible for the recent violence while 40% said Israel is responsible. Hundreds of people have been reported dead after Hamas launched rockets into Israel earlier this month and Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes at Hamas-controlled targets in Gaza.
Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll surveyed 1,945 registered voters between May 19-20. The survey is a representative online sample and as such does not report a probability confidence interval, according to The Hill.
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Israeli and Hamas officials agreed to a ceasefire last Thursday after 11 days of violence. The United States is involved in diplomatic efforts to consolidate the ceasefire and reduce the risk of further conflict. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the region this week to meet separately with leaders from both sides. (RELATED: Majority Of Israelis Oppose Ceasefire With Hamas)
President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for Israel during the conflict and approved a $735 million arms deal to Israel. He also told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will help Israel replenish its Iron Dome air defense system.
The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey found that 58% of respondents supported Biden’s position on Israel while 42% opposed it.
But the president has faced pushback from members of his own party. A number of progressive lawmakers such as Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and members of “The Squad” have called on him to take a harder line toward Israel for its role in the conflict and to provide more support for Palestinians.
“Israel continues to have the support of a majority of Americans but the Democratic Party shows significant fissures as half see Israel as responsible for the recent violence in the Mideast,” Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll director Mark Penn told The Hill.
“When asked whether Israel has a right to defend itself, however, large majorities said it does and rejected any language of calling Israel and apartheid stage. Biden is seen as having a pro-Israel position and has the support of most Americans,” he added.