Americans are deeply sympathetic toward Israelis and see their military response to Hamas attacks as justified.

The American public expresses deep sympathy for the Israeli people and broadly sees the Israeli government’s military response to Hamas’ attacks as justified, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, and two-thirds are at least somewhat worried the fighting between Israel and Hamas could lead to terrorism in the US. The poll also finds divisions by party and age in how Americans view the conflict and the US response to it.

The public is mixed over how much trust it has in President Joe Biden to make the right decisions on the fighting between Israel and Hamas (47% have at least a moderate amount of trust), but they express slightly more confidence in Biden than they did at the outset of the war in Ukraine (42%).

Half of Americans (50%) say that the Israeli government’s military response to the Hamas attacks is fully justified, another 20% say it’s partially justified and just 8% that it is not at all justified, with 21% unsure. Republicans are far more likely than independents or Democrats to say the response is fully justified (68% of Republicans say so compared with 45% of independents and 38% of Democrats), and older Americans are also much likelier than younger ones to say it is completely justified (81% of those age 65 or older see the response as fully justified, compared with 56% of 50-to-64-year-olds, 44% of 35-to-49-year-olds and 27% of 18-to-34-year-olds). Majorities across age and party, though, say the Israeli response is at least partially justified, with very few Americans of any age or party affiliation saying the response is not at all justified.

A sizable 71% of Americans say they feel a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people over the attacks by Hamas on October 7, with nearly all, 96%, expressing at least some sympathy for them. A broad majority also feel at least some sympathy for the Palestinian people (87%), but fewer feel a lot of sympathy for the Palestinians (41%). Nearly all Americans (84%) express at least some sympathy for both Israeli and Palestinian people as they face ongoing fighting.

Palestinian civilians and rescuers help clear the rubble in the heavily bombarded city center of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza following overnight Israeli shelling, on October 10, 2023.

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But here too, there are divides by age and party, with younger Americans and Democrats likelier to express a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian people than Republicans and older Americans. Majorities across party lines express a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people (78% of Republicans, 68% of independents and 67% of Democrats), but there is a broad gap between the share of Democrats (49%) and independents (47%) who have a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian people and the share of Republicans who say the same (26%).

The division by age appears even wider: Among those age 65 or older, 87% have a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people, while 36% feel the same toward Palestinians. Among those younger than 35, 61% say they have a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people and nearly the same share, 54%, say the same about the Palestinian people.

Few Americans express a great deal of trust in Biden to make the right decisions on the situation in Israel (16%), with about 3 in 10 saying they trust him moderately (31%), 26% saying they have not much trust and 28% none at all. There are broad partisan gaps, with 80% of Democrats saying they trust Biden a great deal or moderately, compared with 46% of independents and just 13% of Republicans. The overall partisan divide is similar to the levels of trust placed in Biden to handle the war in Ukraine at its outset, but independents appear a bit more inclined to express trust in Biden now than they were around the start of the war in Ukraine (46% have at least a moderate amount of trust in Biden, 37% said the same in February 2022 on Ukraine).

About a third of all US adults, 35%, say the US is providing the right amount of assistance to Israel in response to the situation there, with 15% saying the US is providing too much assistance, 14% too little and another 36% unsure about whether the level of assistance is appropriate. Among those who say they are very closely following news about the conflict, 51% say US assistance is about right, 21% say it’s too little, 7% too much and 21% are unsure.

Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say they are at least somewhat worried that the fighting between Israel and Hamas will lead to terrorism in the US. Older Americans (75% of those age 65 or older), women (72%) and Republicans (76%) appear most likely to be worried about the potential for terrorism in the US.

About 7 in 10 Americans, or 71%, say they’ve been following news about the fighting between Israel and Hamas at least somewhat closely, including 26% who are following it very closely.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from October 12-13 among a random national sample of 1,003 adults surveyed by text message after being recruited using probability-based methods. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. It is larger for subgroups.

Former South Carolina governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley talks to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the recent statements from former President Donald Trump critiquing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while calling Hamas “very smart.”

A number of House Republicans are in talks to block Rep. Jim Jordan’s path to the speakership as the Ohio Republican tries to force a floor vote on Tuesday, according to multiple GOP sources.

One senior Republican House member who is part of the opposition to Jordan told CNN that there he believes there are roughly 40 “no” votes, and that he has personally spoken to 20 members who are willing to go to the floor and block Jordan’s path if the Ohio Republican forces a roll-call vote on Tuesday.

“The approximately 20 I’ve talked to know we must be prepared,” the member said. “We cannot let the small group dictate to the whole group. They want a minority of the majority to dictate and as a red-blooded American I refuse to be a victim.”

But another GOP source familiar with the matter said that Jordan has had positive conversations with members and believes by Tuesday evening he will be elected speaker of the House. The House is expected to hold a vote for the next speaker on Tuesday at noon, according to an email from House Minority Whip Katherine Clark obtained by CNN.

The GOP source said that Jordan may decide to go to multiple ballots on the floor if necessary.

Republicans are expected to meet behind closed doors Monday evening.

Yet there is still sizable opposition to Jordan. The GOP member says there are some Republicans who are critics of Jordan and not willing to back him – and there are others angry at the hardliners who took out Kevin McCarthy and sunk Majority Leader Steve Scalise and don’t want to reward those moves by electing Jordan, who is their preferred candidate.

“I know of many hard nos. …We can’t reward this behavior,” the GOP lawmaker said. “We can’t let a small group be dictators.”

The Republican conference nominated Jordan as speaker last week after Scalise dropped his bid for the role. Scalise had initially been selected by the conference as its nominee – after he defeated Jordan 113-99 in the conference’s first speaker vote – but more than a dozen Republicans said they would not vote for Scalise, forcing him to withdraw.

Now Jordan is facing the same problem from Republicans angry at McCarthy’s ouster and a small faction of the conference refusing to get behind Scalise after he won the first vote. After Jordan’s nomination, he held a second, secret vote in the conference on whether Republicans would support him on the floor. Fifty-five Republicans voted no.

To be elected speaker, a nominee must win the majority of the full House, which is currently 217 votes due to two vacancies. That means Jordan or any other Republican nominee can only afford to lose four GOP votes on the floor if every Democrat votes for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Some of Jordan’s allies have pushed for votes on the floor in order to try to call out the holdouts who aren’t behind the Ohio Republican. But Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas railed against his House GOP colleagues who plan on rallying support for Jordan’s speakership through a public pressure campaign, calling it “the dumbest thing you can do.”

“That is the dumbest way to support Jordan,” Crenshaw told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “As someone who wants Jim Jordan, the dumbest thing you can do is to continue pissing off those people and entrench them.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

President Joe Biden warned Israel against occupying Gaza in one of his most notable public calls for restraint as the Israelis respond to this month’s terror attacks by Hamas.

In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Biden said it would be a “big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza. Israel has been signaling it is preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza, even as a humanitarian crisis grows inside the coastal Palestinian enclave. Biden has called for the protection of civilians, and the United States has been working to alleviate shortages of food, water and gas.

“What happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don’t represent all the Palestinian people,” Biden told interviewer Scott Pelley.

Biden said he believes Hamas should be eliminated entirely, “but there needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs to be a path to a Palestinian state.”

The comments amount to one of the few times the US president has called on Israel to use some sort of restraint in responding to the Hamas attacks that left 1,400 dead. In its response, Israel unleashed a massive bombing campaign against the northern Gaza Strip, from which Hamas launched its attack.

Israeli tanks move near Gaza border as Israeli army deploys military vehicles around the Gaza Strip, Israel on October 12, 2023.

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Michael Herzog, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that Israel does not intend to occupy Gaza after the conflict ends.

“We have no desire to occupy or reoccupy Gaza. We have no desire to rule over the lives of more than 2 million Palestinians,” Herzog said.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden notably did not say it was time for a ceasefire.

“Look, there’s a fundamental difference. Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust,” he said.

“So I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They’re hiding behind the civilians. … The Israelis are gonna do everything in their power to avoid the killing of innocent civilians.”

The situation in Gaza has quickly become a humanitarian disaster, and the Israelis told civilians living in the northern part of the area to evacuate to the south ahead of an anticipated invasion. However, many human rights organizations have called that impossible as Israeli strikes have damaged infrastructure and Palestinians face a lack of housing in one of the most densely populated places on Earth.

US President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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Biden told Pelley he believes that there needs to be a humanitarian corridor to help civilians trapped amid the fighting and that Israel will abide by the “rules of war.”

“I’m confident that Israel is going to act under the measure … the rules of war,” Biden said. “There’s standards that democratic institutions and countries go by. And so I’m confident that there’s gonna be an ability for the innocents in Gaza to be able to have access to medicine and food and water.”

The president said he does not anticipate American troops engaging in combat in the area as Israel readies its ground counterattack. The US will provide Israel “everything they need,” Biden said.

He added “there is no clear evidence” that Iran is behind the attacks on Israel.

“Now, Iran constantly supports Hamas and Hezbollah,” Biden said. “I don’t mean that. But in terms of were they, did they have fore knowledge; did they help plan the attack? There’s no evidence of that at this point.”