Pro-Israel rally in New York
Pro-Israel rally in New YorkReuters

A Gallup poll has found that 42% of the adult population in the US think the Israeli actions in Gaza are “mostly justified,” while 14% thought the same about Hamas's actions.

Americans' views of the military actions of Israel and Hamas in the current conflict in Gaza have changed little over the past 10 days. The public remains closely divided over whether Israel's actions have been justified, but is mostly critical of Hamas' actions.

Six in 10 Americans say they are following the conflict "very" or "somewhat closely."

Does the advent of social media news, which often includes more graphic coverage of fighting, destruction, injuries and deaths, affect public opinion about the conflict? The evidence to support that hypothesis is not strong, Gallup says. “Not only is opinion little different now than it was during a similar 2002 conflict, but just 19% of Americans report using Facebook, Twitter, or other social media to follow news of the conflict 'a lot' or 'some,' significantly lower than those who are using newspapers, the Internet, and in particular television (including cable) news.”

Americans' attention to the conflict and their attitudes about the actions on both sides have remained remarkably unchanged compared with results from the period of Israeli-Palestinian violence 12 years ago. This suggests that Americans may have responded to both crises in ways that reflect their basic attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians rather than the specifics of either conflict.

In general, Americans rate Israel much more favorably as a country than the Palestinian Territories, and are much more likely to say they sympathize with the Israelis than the Palestinians when asked to choose between the two sides.

Americans remain roughly divided on the issue of whether the actions of the Israelis against the Hamas are justified. While this is unchanged from previous updates, it is important to note that the pro-Israel sentiment on this measure is significantly below the percentage who routinely say that their sympathies are more broadly with the Israelis rather than the Palestinians in the Middle East.