Poll: Most Israelis Say Country Is 'Hurt and Pained' by Evacuation

Haaretz poll indicates that evacuated settlers won public sympathy.

Some 61 percent of Israelis believe that Israel "has been hurt and pained" by the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, according to a Haaretz-Dialog poll conducted under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs over the past two days.

Only 23.5 percent described post-evacuation Israel as "a normal, civilized state."

The findings indicate that the evacuated settlers won the public's sympathy, and their complaints are being heard.

The survey also examined the public's attitude toward politicians who could replace Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Its findings show that Israel is in the throes of a leadership crisis. Leading politicians such as former prime ministers Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, are not seen as worthy to replace Sharon.

None of the four received more than 20 percent of the public's support. Peres won the support of 18.7 percent of the respondents, Netanyahu won 17.3 percent, Mofaz won 9.3 percent, and Barak garnered 6.7 percent.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beteinu, came in fifth, with 5.2 percent, although his name was not mentioned by the pollsters.

Among Labor's voters, 43.7 percent support Peres - four times as many as those who support Barak (10 percent).

Among Likud voters, Netanyahu, Sharon's main rival, won the support of 34 percent of the respondents, while Mofaz, Sharon's ally, won half of that - 17.6 percent.