Netanyahu Loses Public Support Amid Siege of Gaza: Strain on IDF Ranks

17 October 2023
Netanyahu Loses Public Support Amid Siege of Gaza: Strain on IDF Ranks

Benjamin Netanyahu is grappling with a significant decline in public support following the recent conflict with Hamas. This downturn also is also having repercussions within the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Reports of desertions and reluctance among IDF militants to engage in a ground offensive in Gaza are beginning to emerge, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing situation.

The incident that rocked Israeli politics and replaced the Ukraine war in the worlds collective conscience has culminated in the deadly bombardment and siege of Gaza. It has resulted in mainly civilian casualties, stoking public outrage both domestically and internationally. The international community called for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent lives.

In the wake of the Hamas incident, public support for Netanyahu has taken a hit. The Prime Minister's approval ratings have steadily declined as many Israelis began to question his ability to bring about a lasting peace and ensure their security. Demonstrations and protests have taken place in major Israeli cities, reflecting a growing sentiment that a change in leadership may be necessary.

Perhaps even more concerning for Israel's leadership is the impact of this incident on the IDF. The desertions are a reflection of the internal divisions that have emerged within Israeli society. Some soldiers have voiced their concerns about the ethical and moral implications of their actions in Gaza whilst others simply lack confidence in their own ability to battle Hamas, the Qassam Brigades and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

There is a growing sense of disillusionment among many soldiers who believed in the military's mission to protect Israel but now find themselves grappling with the complex realities on the ground. This has led to Netenyahu having to make repeated statements that the public stands with them, whereas the reality around the world is that the public does not.