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(The Hill) — More Americans say they believe Hamas is mostly responsible for the war in Gaza compared to the Israeli government, according to a new survey.
The Pew Research Center poll results, released Friday, show that a majority of respondents across the political spectrum — 65 percent — agree that Hamas shares more responsibility for the conflict. However, Democrats (50 percent) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (21 percent) to say the Israeli government also bears a lot of responsibility.
Roughly 20 percent of Americans said Palestinians are responsible for the war and 13 percent said Israel is at fault.
The war in Gaza, now two months old, has sparked fears over a new large-scale war in the Middle East and has split the opinions of many Americans, especially Democrats.
The Biden administration has strongly backed Israel in the conflict. While most Americans approve of the decision, fewer support President Biden’s handling of the U.S. response to the war, according to recent polling. About a third of Americans say they approve of Biden’s response, while over 40 percent disapprove, according to the Pew survey.
While about half of Republicans disapprove of Biden’s actions, Democrats are more split. About 44 percent of Democrats approve of Biden’s Israel policy, while 33 percent disapprove, the poll found.
The Israeli military began a ground operation into southern Gaza this week, despite warnings from the U.S. government to reduce civilian casualties.
The conflict began Oct. 7, when Hamas militants killed about 1,200 Israelis in a brutal attack on border communities. Over 17,000 Palestinians, including of 7,000 children, have died in the war since.
The United Nations and humanitarian agencies have continued to advocate for a indefinite cease-fire in the conflict to assist civilians, though the Biden administration and Israeli governments have refused.
The Pew poll surveyed about 5,200 people from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, with a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.