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Olmerts's popularity slips post Lebanon war: Poll

Nearly seven out of 10 Israelis are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's performance, an opinion poll said.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 12:58 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Nearly seven out of 10 Israelis are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's performance and his greatest political rival would win an election, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

According to the 507 people surveyed, 68 per cent of Israelis were unhappy with Olmert's performance, compared to 40 per cent in a poll on August 11 -- days before a cease-fire was declared.

The same Dialog poll found that if an election were held today, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line Likud Party would win 24 of 120 parliament seats, compared to just 16 for Olmert's centrist Kadima Party, which currently holds 29 seats.

A second poll published in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot found that 27 per cent of Israelis would vote for Netanyahu in an election.

The Dahaf poll of 499 people had an error margin of 4.5 percentage points.

Olmert's popularity plummeted after he waged a fierce war against Hezbollah, vowing to crush the Lebanese guerrilla group after it carried out a cross-border raid, capturing two Israeli soldiers.

But after nearly 4,000 rockets were fired at Israel and more than 150 Israelis were killed, the war came to an anticlimactic end, with no clear victory for Israel.

The outcome infuriated many Israelis, including reserve soldiers, many of whom called for an official state inquiry into the decision-making in the war.

Some 850 Lebanese were killed in the fighting. More than a month after the truce that ended the fighting, just 22 per cent of Israelis said they were satisfied with Olmert's performance as prime minister, compared to 48 percent in the previous poll.

First Published: Sep 21, 2006 12:58 IST