On Jan, 10, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies announced the results of the public opinion poll regarding the Israeli war on Gaza, carried out on a sample of 8000 respondents (men and women) from 16 Arab countries.

The full report can be read here and below are some of the main findings:

Extent of psychological stress felt during the war on Gaza

About 80% of respondents reported that they regularly follow news of the war, compared to 7% who said that they do not follow it, a further indication that the Arab public sees this war as a local event. To access the news 54% of respondents relied on television, compared to 43% who relied on the internet.

Extent of news followship about Israel’s war on Gaza

It is noteworthy that the results highlighted that Arab public opinion does not believe that the military operation carried out by Hamas on 7 October 2023 was in pursuit of a foreign agenda. 35% of respondents considered that the most important reason for the operation was the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, while 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.


Assessments of Hamas’ military operation on 7 October 2023

The results showed that there is an Arab consensus of 92% expressing solidarity with the citizens of the Arab region with the Palestinian people in Gaza. While 69% of respondents expressed their solidarity with Palestinians and support for Hamas, 23% expressed solidarity with Palestinians despite opposing Hamas, and 1% expressed a lack of solidarity with the Palestinians.

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Solidarity with Palestinians and support for Hamas

The majority of respondents rejected comparisons between Hamas and ISIS made by predominately Israeli and Western politicians and media personalities.

Comparisons between Hamas and ISIS

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, Turkey, Russia, and China. While (48%, 47%, 41%, 40%, respectively) considered them positively (37%, 40%, 42%, 38%, respectively).


Evaluation of international and regional positions

In the same context, 76% of respondents reported that their position toward the United States following the Israeli war on Gaza had become more negative, indicating that the Arab public has lost confidence in the US. Furthermore, respondents demonstrated a near consensus (81%) in their belief 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 United States and Israel as the biggest threat to the security and stability of the region. While 51% saw the United States as the most threatening, 26% considered the biggest threat to be Israel. While 82% of respondents reported that US media coverage of the war was biased towards Israel, only 7% saw it as neutral.


Consideration of the Palestinian Cause as an Arab issue over time

Arab public opinion is almost unanimous in rejecting recognition of Israel, at a rate of 89%, up from 84% in 2022, compared to only 4% who support its recognition. Of particular note is the increase in the percentage of those who rejected recognition of Israel in Saudi Arabia from 38% in the 2022 poll to 68% in this survey. Such a statistically significant increase also applies to other countries such as Morocco, where the percentage rose from 67% to 78%, and Sudan, where it increased from 72% to 81%.

Support/opposition for recognizing Israel over time

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 normalization processes with Israel, while 14% of them stated that aid and support should be brought into Gaza without Israeli approval, and 11% said that the Arab governments should use oil as a weapon to assert pressure on Israel and its supporters.


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