Poll: Israelis favor large-scale military operation in Gaza

A majority of Israelis want the military to launch a large-scale military operation against Palestinian rocket squads in the Gaza Strip, a poll showed Friday. Israel has been battling militants launching rockets from Gaza with pinpoint operations and airstrikes, but the ongoing fire has drawn increasing calls for a major army invasion. The government has been hesitant to approve such an operation so far because of the likelihood it would result in the deaths of a large number of soldiers and civilians and might not succeed in halting the rockets. In the poll conducted by the Teleseker company for the Ma'ariv daily, 67 percent of respondents said they supported a broad ground operation. Only 25 percent said they were opposed. When pollsters mentioned military estimates that a large operation would have a high price in Israeli casualties, support dropped to 51 percent and opposition rose to 38 percent. Despite their support for a military operation, Israelis are skeptical about the chances of success, the poll showed: 53 percent said they believe a large operation will not bring an end to the rocket fire. The poll included 500 respondents and had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.