Photo: Niv Calderon
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz
Photo: Niv Calderon
Photo: Niv Calderon
Defense Minister Amir Peretz
Photo: Niv Calderon
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Poll: Mofaz missed as defense chief
Twenty-five percent of Israelis would like to see former defense minister Shaul Mofaz at helm of Israel's security establishment, Yedioth Ahronoth public opinion poll shows; only 10 percent favor Barak

Transportation Minister and former defense minister Shaul Mofaz is perceived as the man most fit to replace Defense Minister Amir Peretz, a Dahaf poll showed.


Twenty-five percent of Israelis want Mofaz to return to his former post, showed the poll, which was published in Yedioth Ahronoth.


Fifteen percent want MK Ami Yaalon of the Labor Party as Peretz's replacement, 12 percent support Israel Our Home leader Avigdor Lieberman for the post, and 11 percent favor Yossi Peled.


Only 10 percent of respondents said they prefer former prime minister Ehud Barak to fill the post.


Asked whether they think Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should offer the defense portfolio to Barak, 30 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative and 60 percent said no.


In another sign of the public's dissatisfaction with Peretz as defense minister, 80 percent of those polled said the Labor leader should resign, while 72 percent said that Olmert should dismiss him if Peretz fails to resign.


Asked about the issue by Ynet on Thursday, Peretz said: “Barak wants to be defense minister? He was the architect of the escape from Lebanon."


Peretz slammed the “candidates for defense minister” Barak and Shaul Mofaz, saying the withdrawal from Lebanon and the Gaza disengagement,

which was carried out without an agreement, were severe mistakes that led to the current situation.


“We retreated from Lebanon in an orderly fashion after the war, following an agreement,” he said. “The soldiers left quietly, not under attacks. From Gaza and Lebanon (during Barak’s tenure) we left unilaterally; this proves that we must withdraw from territories only in the framework of an agreement.”


45 percent say talks would stop Qassams 

Forty-five percent of respondents said the solution to Qassam attacks at Israeli communities in the western Negev is to engage in talks with the Palestinians.


Thirty percent said Israel should recapture the Gaza Strip and 18 percent said Israel should continue to carry out limited operations against the terror infrastructure in the Strip.


Among Sderot residents the poll's findings were contrary with 57 percent of respondents saying that Israel should recapture the Gaza Strip and only 24 percent want their government to negotiate a solution to Qassam attacks with the Palestinians.


Sixty-eight percent of Israelis and 85 percent of Sderot residents said the government forfeited Sderot.


Sixty-six percent of Sderot resident polled said they would leave the Qassam-battered city if they could. On the other hand, 55 percent of Israelis and 65 percent of Sderot residents said that if Qassam rockets were fired at the center of Israel, the government's policy would have been different.


Fifty-six percent of Sderot residents polled berated Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal for his handling of the crisis in the city.


Asked what they think about Russian billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak's good deed of paying for hundreds of residents to leave Sderot for a weekend in Eilat, 41 percent of residents said Gaydamak wants to gain legitimacy in Israel, 29 percent said he wants to help, and 27 percent said he is trying to advance a political agenda as he eyes a Knesset seat.


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