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Americans Back Israel's Military Action in Gaza by 50% to 45%

Americans Back Israel's Military Action in Gaza by 50% to 45%

Story Highlights

  • Half of adults approve of Israel’s military action in Gaza; 45% disapprove
  • 71% of Republicans, 36% of Democrats approve
  • Four in 10 say U.S. sending too little humanitarian aid to the Palestinians

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Half of Americans approve of Israel’s military action in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, and 45% disapprove, according to a Gallup poll conducted several weeks after Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel that led to a major military operation by Israel.


Views on the War Diverge by Gender, Age, Race, and Party ID

The slight public opinion tilt in favor of Israel’s actions masks diverging views across U.S. subgroups:

  • Solid majorities of Republicans (71%), men (59%), adults 55 and older (63%) and White adults (61%) approve of Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
  • Conversely, more than six in 10 Democrats (63%), adults younger than 35 (67%), and people of color (64%) disapprove, as do the slight majority of women (52%).

With no meaningful differences by education in these attitudes, college graduates’ and college nongraduates’ reactions mirror the national average. Political independents are evenly split in their views.


The Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 1-21, in the month after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the military operation in Gaza is aimed at eliminating Hamas and bringing hostages home. Polling ended before the recent suspension of fighting and hostage/prisoner exchanges between Israel and Hamas.

Most Americans Content With U.S. Aid Going to Both Sides

Separately, the poll probed Americans’ views on the level of U.S. aid going to Israel and the Palestinians -- specifically, military aid for Israel and humanitarian aid for the Palestinians. Although it’s likely that respondents considered the conflict in their answers, these questions measured general perceptions about each type of aid.

The largest segment of Americans, 42%, say the U.S. is providing about the right amount of military aid to Israel, and another 25% say the U.S. is not doing enough, totaling 67% who endorse at least the current level of military aid to Israel. At the same time, 31% say the U.S. is doing too much in providing this aid, slightly exceeding those believing it is too little.

Meanwhile, a combined 74% of Americans think the United States is doing the right amount (34%) or not enough (40%) in providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. In contrast to the balance of views on military aid to Israel, the percentage saying too little humanitarian aid is going to the Palestinians well exceeds the 22% saying the U.S. is doing too much.


Subgroup differences in perceptions of the United States’ assistance to Israel and the Palestinians generally conform with these groups’ approval of Israel’s military actions.

  • Republicans, White adults and college nongraduates are the groups most in favor of increasing military aid to Israel. At the same time, Republicans and White adults are less likely than their counterparts to believe the U.S. should send more humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
  • Democrats, young adults, people of color and women are among the groups most likely to believe the U.S. is not sending enough humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. They are also much more likely to say humanitarian aid to the Palestinians is lacking than to say the U.S. is not sending enough military aid to Israel.

The full responses by demographics to both questions are provided in the accompanying PDF, linked at the end of this article.

Biden Middle East Approval Versus Overall Job Approval

President Joe Biden’s 32% approval rating for his handling of the Israel-Hamas situation is lower than his already-anemic 37% overall job approval rating in the new poll.

This approval deficit is especially pronounced among the groups who are most opposed to Israel’s military action in Gaza: Democrats, people of color, women and young adults. These groups express significantly less approval for the job Biden is doing on the Middle East situation than they offer for his job performance overall.


Seven in 10 Are Following the Middle East Situation Closely

While not attracting as much interest as some of the biggest news events Gallup has recorded historically -- including the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 -- Americans are largely tuned in to the Israel-Hamas war.

Seventy-two percent of adults say they are paying close attention to it, described as “the recent situation in the Middle East involving Israel and the Palestinians.” This includes 31% who are following it “very closely” and 41% “somewhat closely.” Another 17% are following it “not too closely,” leaving just 10% who are not following it at all.

Majorities of all key subgroups are following the situation at least somewhat closely; however, higher percentages of the college educated (42%) and older adults (41%) than their counterparts are following it “very closely.” This is consistent with differences in these groups’ higher attention to political news more generally.

Additionally, a higher percentage of those who approve of Israel’s military action in Gaza (39%) than disapprove of it (24%) say they are following it “very closely.”


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View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).


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