The Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies announced Wednesday the results of a public opinion poll regarding the Israeli war on Gaza. The poll, which featured 8,000 respondents (men and women) from 16 Arab countries, saw 97% expressing psychological stress (of varying degrees), with 84% citing extreme stress.
About 80% of respondents reported they regularly follow news of the war, with 54% relying on television and 43% on the Internet. The results highlighted that Arab public opinion does not believe that the military operation carried out by Hamas on October 7, 2023 was in pursuit of a foreign agenda.
A total of 35% of respondents considered that the most important reason for the operation was the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, 24% attributed it mostly to defence against Israel’s targeting of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and 8% saw it as a result of the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.
As many as 67% of respondents believed the military operation carried out by Hamas was legitimate resistance. The results showed there is an Arab consensus with 92% expressing solidarity of the citizens of the Arab region with the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The majority of respondents rejected comparisons between Hamas and ISIS, made by predominately Israeli and Western politicians and media personalities. When asked about the responses of regional and international powers to Israel’s war on Gaza, 94% considered the US position negatively, with 82% considering it very bad. In the same context, 79%, 78%, and 75% of respondents viewed positions of France, the UK, and Germany, negatively. Opinion was split over the positions of Iran, Turkiye, Russia, and China.
In the same context, 76% of respondents reported that their position toward the US following the Israeli war on Gaza had become more negative, indicating that the Arab public has lost confidence in the US. A total of 81% believed that the US government is not serious about working to establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 occupied territories (The West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza).
About 77% of respondents named the US and Israel as the biggest threat to the security and stability of the region. Arab public opinion sees the Palestinian Cause as an Arab issue, and not exclusively a Palestinian issue.
As many as 89% rejected the recognition of Israel, up from 84% in 2022. When asked about their opinions on what measures Arab governments should take in order to stop the war in Gaza, 36% of respondents stated that Arab governments should suspend all relations or normalisation processes with Israel, 14% said aid and support should be brought into Gaza without Israeli approval, while 11% wanted the Arab governments to use oil as a weapon to assert pressure on Israel and its supporters.
As many as 95% of Palestinian respondents from the West Bank (including Jerusalem) wanted safety and freedom of movement between the governorates and cities of the West Bank and said their sense of security and personal safety have been affected negatively since Oct 7, 2023.
A further 60% of Palestinian respondents in the West Bank said they had been subjected to or were witnesses to raids by the occupation army forces, 44% said they were arrested or interrogated by the Israeli army, and 22% reported being harassed by settlers.
This survey is the first of its kind to gauge public opinion on the topic across the Arab region. The field work was conducted from December 12, 2023 to January 5, 2024 in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank, Palestine (including Jerusalem).
Related Story