79% of Israelis support Shalit deal

The public is divided over the security threat resulting from the deal.

24 hours before the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit is due to take place, the majority of Israelis support it, according to a survey by Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" and Mina Zemach. 79% of the public supports the deal and 14% of the public opposes it. However, 53% of the respondents said that the Israeli government compromised its principles in making the deal.

In response to the question, "Do you support the deal to free Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 terrorists?", 79% of respondents said, "Yes", and 14% said, "No". 74% of men support the deal and 19% oppose it, while 86% of women support the deal and 5% oppose it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he made a statesmanlike decision, but 49% of the public think that he capitulated to public opinion, which motivated his conduct. 53% of Israelis think that the government compromised its principles more in making the deal, compared with 20% of Israelis who think that Hamas compromised its basic principles. 20% think that both sides compromised equally.

65% of the public thinks that it was not necessary to wait five years to free Shalit and that a deal with Hamas under similar terms could have been reached earlier. 20% of the public thinks that only now have conditions come about making the current deal possible.

The public is fully aware of the security consequences of the prisoner release, but it is divided over how far it has been harmed. 50% of respondents fear that security will worsen because of the deal, and 48% believe that the security forces can handle the threat and that the public's security will not be affected.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 17, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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