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
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.
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
. Such a high level of support must be attributed to Hizbullah's political and military performance, in addition to a national consensus identifying
'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
The survey showed that a large majority of Lebanese do not consider the
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
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.