Bibi Netanyahu
US President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.Reuters

A new Pew Research survey has shown that Americans sympathise with Israel nearly four times as much as they do Palestinians in the current Gaza crisis.

Despite images of Israeli air strikes hitting the territory being widely published on American media outlets, 51 per cent of Americans have said they sympathise more with the Israel in the "dispute between Israel and the Palestinians".

Only 14 per cent said they sympathised more with Palestinians than Israel while 15 per cent said they did not sympathise more with either party and 3 per cent said they supported both sides' arguments.

These figures are down from April when the numbers were 53 per cent in support of Israel and 11 per cent in support of Palestinians but represent the second-highest level of support for Israel since the question was first asked of the US public in 1978.

Interestingly, black and Hispanic Americans both support Israel by more than a 2:1 ratio. Black Americans stand at 43 per cent support for Israel compared to 20 per cent for Palestinians while, among Hispanics, the numbers drop to 43 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

The ethnic group most supportive of Israel is the white evangelical Protestant population, with 70 per cent sympathy for the country over Palestinians.

In terms of party differences within the US, 73 per cent of Republicans sympathise more with Israel than Palestinians in comparison to 44 per cent of Democrats and 45 per cent of Independents.

The United States represents one of Israel's closest allies, giving over $3bn in foreign aid (25 per cent of US' foreign aid budget) to the Israeli military, according to a US Congressional Research Service report.

The latest Pew poll survey was conducted between 8 July and 14 July with a sample of 1,805 adult participants. It has a 2.7 per cent margin error.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has seen 227 Palestinians killed by Israeli airstrikes and 1 Israeli killed by a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations says that most of the Palestinians killed are civilians while Israel accuses Hamas of hiding its military assets among a dense civilian population.