Israel "has the highest rate of poverty of any Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country, according to a National Insurance Institute report", the Jerusalem Post reported today.
Poverty and "near poverty" rates are particularly acute amongst Palestinian citizens of Israel who have faced systematic discrimination since the state's establishment in 1948.
"Israel has the highest rate of poverty of any OECD country, according to a National Insurance Institute report published in December 2018", the paper reported, "with the poverty line defined as half of the median disposable income, weighted by household size".
A new study published yesterday by Adva Centre "has revealed that the situation of those living in 'near poverty" – those whose income lies between the poverty line and 25 percent above it – is not much better," said the Jerusalem Post.
The 2016 poverty rate among Israeli households stood at 18.5 per cent, and the rate of near poverty was 8.1 per cent – overall, more than 1 in 4 Israeli households "were either poor or nearly poor".
Among Israel's Palestinian citizens, 49.2 per cent of households were below the poverty line, and a further 13.5 per cent in near poverty. Among the Jewish population, by contrast, 13.2 per cent of families were in poverty and a further 7.2 per cent in near poverty.
Amongst the Jewish population, the group with the highest poverty rate was Ethiopian immigrants (22.8 per cent), while the community with the highest near-poverty rate, however, was post-1990 immigrants from the former Soviet Union (12.1 per cent).