Poll: Israelis oppose deal on the table with Hezbollah

Israelis are evenly split in their view of the possibility of winning a war with Hezbollah with Israel’s current military leadership.

By Charles Bybelezer, JNS

The vast majority of Israelis believe that the safety of northern residents can only be secured by a diplomatic agreement requiring Iranian-backed Hezbollah to withdraw north of the Litani River, according to a JNS/Direct Polls survey of public opinion carried out on July 9.

The survey asked, “Do you think a deal with Hezbollah that does not include a full withdrawal of Hezbollah beyond the Litani River can sufficiently ensure the safety of the residents of the north and allow them to return safely to their homes?”

Ten percent of respondents said yes. Eighty-four percent said no and 6% said they did not know.

Israelis are evenly split in their view of the possibility of winning a war with Hezbollah with Israel’s current military leadership, with 45% saying yes and 46% no. Nine percent had no opinion.

President Joe Biden’s envoy Amos Hochstein has been jetting around between Beirut, Paris, and Jerusalem trying to mediate a deal that would require Hezbollah to withdraw its forces around 10 km. (6.2 miles) from the border.

The Biden administration has rejected Jerusalem’s demand that a diplomatic deal be based on the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701—which was adopted to end the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and calls for a demilitarized zone from the U.N.-demarcated Israel-Lebanon Blue Line border to the Litani River some 18 miles to the north.

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According to The New York Times, Hochstein’s proposal would also require the IDF to withdraw from some of its positions along the border and see the U.S. transfer billions of dollars in reconstruction and other economic aid to the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government.

Two Israelis were killed by a Hezbollah rocket barrage on the Golan Heights on Tuesday night.

Noa and Nir Barnes from Kibbutz Ortal, both aged 46 and the parents of three children, were driving home when their vehicle was struck.

In a statement published by Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar daily, Hezbollah claimed to have targeted the Nafah base in response to the killing of Yasser Nimr Qarnabsh in an Israeli drone strike outside Damascus earlier on Tuesday.

Qranbish was said to have been part of an elite Hezbollah unit responsible for moving terrorists and weaponry from Syria to Lebanon and previously served as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s personal bodyguard.

Hezbollah has attacked the Jewish state’s north nearly every day since joining the war a day after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, firing thousands of drones, rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli towns, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage.

Nasrallah has vowed to continue the attacks until a “complete and permanent ceasefire” is reached with Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

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The JNS/Direct Poll survey questioned Israelis about a host of key national security issues. The poll was carried out among 606 adults aged 18 and older, representing Israel’s general population. The statistical error is 4.4%+/-95%.