*** ----> Poll finds most Israelis say 'absolute victory' not possible in Gaza | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Poll finds most Israelis say 'absolute victory' not possible in Gaza

AFP | Jerusalem                                                         

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence the Gaza war will end with Israel achieving "absolute victory", a majority of Israelis do not think this is a likely outcome, a poll published Wednesday found.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel will continue its offensive in the Gaza Strip until Hamas is ousted from ruling Gaza and rendered incapable of posing a military threat to Israel, and the hostages taken in the October 7 attack freed.

His insistence on the war continuing until these goals are achieved has come up against mounting international pressure for Israel to refrain from launching a ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where around 1.4 million Palestinians are now sheltering.

The Israel Democracy Institute think tank has meanwhile said only 38.3 percent of Israelis polled believed there was a "very high" or "fairly high" likelihood of an "absolute victory" at the end of the war.

Some 55.3 percent of respondents conversely said there was a "fairly low" or "very low likelihood" of such an outcome. Just over six percent of the 612 respondents were undecided, the poll found.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told North American Jewish leaders visiting Israel: "Our goal is simple -- victory."

"Only victory against Hamas will allow us to achieve normalisation and regional integration," he said.

As the war drags into its fifth month and American, Qatari and Egyptian negotiators try to hammer out a truce deal, regional and Western governments are discussing possible plans for a post-war Gaza that could include an independent Palestinian state and Saudi Arabia normalising relations with Israel.

Asked whether they support Israel agreeing "in principle to the establishment of an independent and demilitarised Palestinian state", a majority of respondents -- 55.4 percent -- said they either somewhat or strongly opposed it, while 37.4 percent strongly or somewhat supported it.