Middle East

45% of Israelis prefer Benny Gantz as prime minister: Poll

If elections are held today, Gantz's party would secure 33 seats of 120-member Knesset, Netanyahu's party 19

Anadolu Staff  | 29.03.2024 - Update : 29.03.2024
45% of Israelis prefer Benny Gantz as prime minister: Poll


As Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's popularity continues to decline, with a recent opinion poll favoring Benny Gantz, leader of the National Unity Party and current member of the War Cabinet, to become the next premier.

According to a poll published on Friday by the Israeli newspaper Maariv, 45% of Israelis prefer Gantz as prime minister, while only 38% believe Netanyahu is suitable for his position.

The survey highlights a consistent decline in the Likud Party's popularity, led by Netanyahu, similar to previous polls conducted after Oct. 7, the date the devastating war on Gaza commenced.

According to the survey, the National Unity party would secure 33 seats in the 120-seat Knesset if elections were held today, up from its current 12 seats.

In contrast, the poll indicated that the Likud party would only secure 19 seats, down from its current 32 in the parliament.

The opposition New Hope party led by Gideon Sa'ar, which withdrew from the National Unity party, would obtain four seats, the poll said.

Meanwhile, the Religious Zionist Party headed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich would not be able to pass the electoral threshold, according to the results.

The opinion poll showed the group supporting Netanyahu would win 46 seats, while the group against him would win 64 seats.

The alliance between Arab parties rejecting both blocs would secure 10 seats.

To form a government in Israel, at least 61 votes are required in the Knesset. This suggests that if elections were held today, Netanyahu would not be able to form a government.

Given Netanyahu's reluctance to hold early elections, there is no imminent prospect of a vote in Israel.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which nearly 1,200 Israelis were killed.

More than 32,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, besides causing mass destruction, displacement and conditions of famine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in an interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

In a Thursday order, the ICJ called on Israel to take measures “without delay” to ensure “the unhindered provision” of basic services and humanitarian assistance, including food, water, fuel and medical supplies. The world court said, “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine ... but that famine is setting in.”

*Writing by Ikram Kouachi in Ankara

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