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Poll finds support for Hizbullah's retaliation
Opinions diverge on sectarian lines - but not completely

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Editor's note: In an attempt to gauge the mood of the country after nearly two weeks of Israel's latest assault on Lebanon, the Beirut Center for Research and Information queried 800 citizens regarding Hizbullah's July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers, the resistance's military operations against Israel and the American position on the crisis. Respondents were also asked to assess the Lebanese government's performance on the diplomatic front and its handling of relief efforts. This survey was conducted by Lebanese statistician Abdo Saad between July 24 and July 26 according to confessional and regional distribution, including the opinion of the displaced in the regions of emigration.

The survey consisted of direct questions concerning respondents' position regarding Hizbullah's role in the conflict.

The answers to the first question showed a relatively high level of support for Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers, contrasting the positions of some local political forces' condemnation of the operation. Such support was based on a belief that Israel and the US intended to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1559 by force, regardless of whether Hizbullah carried out the July 12 raid.

Moreover, the results show the majority of Lebanese believe the only way to liberate Lebanese detainees in Israeli prisons is through the capture of Israeli soldiers and a prisoner swap, as was the case in 2000.

The survey showed near-identical numbers as an earlier survey, published by As-Safir on March 2. That survey showed 70.9 percent support for Hizbullah operations to capture Israeli soldiers.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb

However, while 59 percent of the Druze community in March supported such operations, only 40 percent now express such support.

Christian support for capture operations rose from 48 percent to 55 percent, due likely to the Free Patriotic Movement's memorandum of understanding signed with Hizbullah. 

The survey showed 87 percent support for Hizbullah's retaliatory attacks on northern Israel . Such a high level of support must be attributed to Hizbullah's political and military performance, in addition to a national consensus identifying Israel as Lebanon 's main enemy.

The survey suggests that Hizbullah's military performance has bolstered confidence in the resistance's abilities as 63 percent of respondents expected a Hizbullah victory over Israel .

The survey showed that a large majority of Lebanese do not consider the US to be an honest mediator (89.5 percent). A similar survey conducted by the Beirut Center for Research and Information published in As-Safir on January 31 showed 38.2 percent support for the US role in Lebanon. This drop is due to the close political cooperation between the US and Israel .

Meanwhile, the majority of respondents were unsatisfied with their government's performance on the diplomatic level (64.3 percent) and relief efforts (54 percent).

However, the rates varied according to sect, as 82.1 percent of Shiites polled and 64.8 percent of Sunnis polled said they were dissatisfied with the government, while 50.1 percent of Druze polled and 61.9 percent of Christians polled said the government had done a good job with humanitarian relief.

  
  

 

General Average

Sunni

Shiite

Druze

Christian

First Question

Did you support the resistance's move to capture two Israeli soldiers for a prisoners swap?

Yes

70.1 %

73.1 %

96.3 %

40.1 %

54.7 %

No

29.9 %

26.9 %

3.7 %

59.9 %

45.3 %

Second Question

Do you support the confrontations carried out by the resistance against the Israeli aggression against Lebanon ?

Yes

86.9 %

88.9 %

96.3 %

79.5 %

80.3 %

No

11.8 %

11.1 %

3.7 %

13.7 %

17.5 %

Don't Know

1.3 %

0 %

0 %

6.8 %

2.2 %

Third Question

Do you believe that Israel will defeat the resistance?

Yes

28.4 %

24.6 %

6.5 %

34.1 %

44.7 %

No

63.3 %

72.2 %

93.5 %

54.5 %

38.1 %

Don't Know

8.3 %

3.2 %

0 %

11.4 %

17.2 %

Fourth Question

Do you believe that the United States and Israel will succeed in imposing their conditions to reach a cease-fire?

Yes

35.5 %

27.8 %

7.9 %

48.5 %

57.8 %

No

56.9 %

69 %

90.7 %

40.1 %

28.1 %

Don't Know

7.6 %

3.2 %

1.4 %

11.4 %

14.1 %

Fifth Question

Do you believe that the United States plays the role of the honest mediator in this war?

Yes

7.8 %

6 %

3.7 %

11.4 %

11.2 %

No

89.5 %

91.7 %

94.4 %

88.6 %

85 %

Don't Know

2.7 %

2.3 %

1.9 %

0 %

3.8 %

Sixth Question

Do you believe that the US adopted a positive stand regarding Lebanon in this war?

Yes

9.5 %

7.9 %

2.3 %

13.6 %

15 %

No

85.6 %

87 %

96.3 %

81.8 %

87.1 %

Don't Know

4.9 %

5.1 %

1.4 %

4.6 %

6.9 %

Seventh Question

Do you believe that the Lebanese government's political and diplomatic movement is enough to face the assault?

Yes

33.5 %

33.4 %

17.2 %

40.9

43.7 %

No

64.3 %

64.8 %

82.8 %

59.1 %

51.9 %

Don't Know

2.2 %

1.8 %

0 %

0 %

4.4 %

Eighth Question

Do you believe the government assumed its responsibility to relieve the displaced?

Yes

42.8 %

38.5 %

17.1 %

50.1 %

61.9 %

No

54 %

58.3 %

80.1 %

45.5 %

34.7

Don't Know

3.2 %

3.2 %

2.8 %

4.5 %

3.4 %

 
                
                                          The daily star 29/07/2006
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