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Feb 26, 8:28 AM EST

Poll: Israelis believe Gaza policies hurting security


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A new poll shows that 67 percent of Israelis believe the government's policies in the Gaza Strip have worsened security.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, leading to the takeover of the territory by Hamas militants two years later. Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade over Gaza since then, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory.

Israel says the measures are needed for security. The sides have fought three wars since 2008.

Sunday's poll also said 69 percent believe improving conditions in Gaza helps Israel's interests.

The poll was conducted by New Wave Research for Gisha, an Israeli advocacy group that pushes for greater movement by Gaza Palestinians. It interviewed 650 people and had a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

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