Americans shift views on fighting in Gaza

Many people in the US had backed Israel in the early days of the offensive in Gaza. However, after seeing more than 32,000 civilians killed, more and more are voicing their discontent.

Pollsters with Gallup conducted a survey March 1-20, asking respondents whether they approved of the Israeli military action. They found that 55 percent disapprove and 36 percent approve. In November, the approval rate was 50 percent.

The survey was conducted before the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Monday calling for a ceasefire. US delegates had vetoed previous resolutions, but this time they angered their Israeli allies by abstaining.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the move on Wednesday in a meeting with US lawmakers in Jerusalem. He said, "It encouraged Hamas to take a hard line and to believe that international pressure will prevent Israel from freeing the hostages and destroy Hamas."

Commanders at the Pentagon have been urging Netanyahu's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, to reconsider a ground offensive in southern Gaza. They have seen more than a million Palestinians take refuge in the city of Rafah. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has pressed for an alternative -- a more precise operation.

Civilians in Rafah have come under an intensified barrage of airstrikes over the last few days. That has raised fears that, after months of threats, a ground assault could finally be coming.