A majority of Israelis think that Israel’s blockade against the Gaza Strip is endangering their security, a new poll has found.
The poll, which was commissioned by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group focused on freedom of movement for Gazans, found that 67% of Israelis think that Israel’s conduct in Gaza has worsened security since the 2005 disengagement.
The poll also found that 69% of Israelis believe it is in their interest to improve living conditions in Gaza. A similar number of Israelis (70%), said that Gazan hostility toward Israel would decrease if the economic situation were bettered.
Israel has maintained a blockade against the Gaza Strip since 2007, after Hamas seized control of the area in a battle with rival group Fatah. Israel says it must maintain its strict control of the border, sea and airspace for security reasons. Human rights groups decry the blockade as collective punishment.
“The government’s policy is not supported by the majority of the public,” said Dahlia Scheindlin, the pollster who conducted the survey, in a press release. “The public is pragmatic and makes the connection between the needs of the civilian population and the level of tension and violence.”