Poll finds support for rebuilding settlements in Gaza

Fifty-one percent of Israeli Jews believe Jewish settlements in Gaza that Israel evacuated a decade ago should be rebuilt, according to a new survey.

The poll, released July 20 by the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies, also found that 47 percent oppose evacuating West Bank Jewish settlements, the Times of Israel reported.

Although polls conducted in 2005 showed the majority of Israelis supported the Gaza withdrawal at the time, 63 percent of respondents in the new poll claimed they opposed the settlement evacuation when it happened.

In August 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, which it had occupied since 1967, and evacuated more than 8,000 Israelis from 21 settlements there. Israel maintained control over border crossings and Gaza’s imports, however, imposing a naval blockade in 2007 after Hamas took control of Gaza.

The survey of 587 Israelis took place in the second week of July. — jta