Nearly half of Israelis are opposed to an “immediate” military ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to a survey published Friday that was cited by the daily newspaper Maariv.
According to the poll by the Panel4All institute, 49 percent of respondents said it would be better to “wait” before launching a ground offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory.
Just 29 percent of respondents said the offensive should start “immediately”.
The poll was carried out on October 25 and 26 with 522 people questioned for the survey in the country of approximately 10 million.
Last week, 65 percent of those surveyed by the same institute said that they supported a military invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to Maariv. However, that survey did not specify the timing of the operation.
The publishing of the polling data comes as tens of thousands of troops have massed around Gaza’s borders following the October 7 attack, when Hamas militants stormed communities across southern Israel — killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and snatching at least 229 hostages.
Following the attacks, Israel has struck back with a relentless bombing campaign which Gaza’s health ministry says has killed 7,326 people, mostly civilians, among them 3,038 children.
On Friday, the Israeli army said its ground forces backed by fighter jets and drones carried out a “targeted raid” in Gaza over the past day, as it prepares for a land invasion.
“During the last day, IDF ground forces, accompanied by IDF fighter jets and UAVs, conducted an additional targeted raid in the central Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.
“The IDF identified and struck numerous terror targets, including anti-tank missile launch sites, military command and control centres, as well as Hamas terrorists,” it said, saying troops “exited the area at the end of the activity”.
Black-and-white footage released by the military showed a column of armoured vehicles as a thick cloud of dust billowed into the sky after the strikes.
The latest incursions came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated earlier this week that Israel was “preparing for a ground offensive”.