Support for Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the Gaza war plummeted from 82 percent to 62 percent in two weeks, according to a poll released Sunday. Seventy-three percent of those polled did not believe that the operation in Gaza would strengthen Israel's deterrence of Hamas and prevent rockets being launched at southern Israel, according to Itay Oleinik, vice president of Shiluv Millward Brown research group. The firm questioned 400 people -- a representative sample of Israel's Hebrew-speaking population, he said.
Only 35 percent of the those polled felt that the government's decision to withdraw troops from Gaza on Sunday was the right one, while 56 percent felt it was wrong. The war in Gaza has killed more than 1,830 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis. Israeli officials say that Hamas has fired more than 3,253 rockets at Israel since July 8.
- F. Brinley Bruton