Nearly half of Arab Israelis support Israel’s military response to Hamas, survey reveals

The poll was released just as the Israel-Hamas war reaches the two-month mark


An Arab Israeli man casts his vote at a polling station in the Israeli-Arab town of Kfar Qara on February 10, 2009. Israel is voting in what is billed as a tight race between hawkish former premier Benjamin Netanyahu and centrist Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, with the far-right expected to make major gains. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

A majority of Arab Israelis citizens back Israel's response to Hamas’ terror attack on the Jewish state, a survey has revealed.

The poll conducted by the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation at Tel Aviv University showed 47% felt Israel's response to the Hamas attack was justified while 44% did not.

The unprecedented Hamas onslaught on southern Israel left some 1,200 people, including women and children, dead.

When asked whether Hamas intentionally targeted women and children, a majority (56.8%) of  Arab Israelis believed this was the case while a third (32%) did not.

When broken down by population group, 86.7% of Druze and 88.9% of Christian respondents said they “strongly believed”. But among Muslims, the numbers were lower, with less than 65% believing the accounts.

Asked who was to blame for the events of October 7, 76.2% of Druze respondents said it was the fault of Hamas compared to 33.7% of Christians and 19.4% of Muslims.

When asked whether the October 7 atrocities would contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the general population was split.

Druze respondents said the actions of Hamas did not contribute to a solution to the Palestinian problem, at a rate of almost 80%, 62.7% of Christians said likewise but only a slight minority of Muslims did (46%).

Meanwhile, the majority of Arab Israelis (84.9%) support Arab citizens efforts to help Jewish residents of Israel’s south who were affected by the attack.

More than half of respondents (54.2%) also look favourably upon Arab citizens’ support for Israel’s public relations efforts during the war.

The study also asked what the most realistic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was. Just over half (52.2%) of respondents said that a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders was the most realistic whilst just over a quarter (25.5%) said that they didn’t believe any negotiated solution was on the horizon.

In addition, 69.8% of Arab Israelis felt solidarity between Jews and Arabs had weakened because of the attack on October 7. Only 11.9% believe that solidarity had strengthened.

Dr Arik Rudnitzky, who heads the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, said the findings point to a major shift in the positions of Arab Israelis, and greater identification with Israel.

He added: “The war between Israel and Hamas, which began almost two months ago, has generated an unprecedented change in the positions of Israel's Arab citizens.

“The country's Arab citizens are signalling to the Jewish population and the government that they are an integral part of the State of Israel.”

The poll included 502 Arab Israeli citizens aged 18 or over who constitute a representative sample of the adult Arab population in Israel.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive