Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced a fresh political assault on Saturday, fueled by a hike in gasoline prices-  already the third-highest in the world after Norway and Turkey according to a Bloomberg survey - to a record national high.

Labor party leader Shelly Yacimovich said Saturday that Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz were to blame for the price hike. "The statement by Netanyahu and Steinitz that they won't intervene in the gas price hike is a lie," she said. "The two are intervening, and one third of the price hike today is a direct result of unjust taxes that they have levied on the public."

MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) tied the hike to Netanyahu's policy on settlements and the haredi community. "The prime minister is continuing to stick his hand into the public's pocket in order to fuel his twisted priorities," Plesner said at a cultural event in Holon. "The Netanyahu government is financing housing for Migron settlers worth around NIS 660,000 per family, and is investing hundreds of thousands of shekels for every haredi family in the city of Harish, but he is sending the bill to the serving and working public."

Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) issued a statement earlier in the week in which he labeled the price increase “the prime minister’s gift to Israeli citizens for Rosh Hashana.” He predicted the increase would lead to a wave of uncontrollable inflation, causing thousands of people to lose their jobs.

A 14% rise in the cost of oil and the continued depreciation of the shekel against the dollar both contributed to the increase. The previous record price motorists paid for a liter of self-service gasoline was NIS 7.79 – or NIS 8 with full-service fee – in April this year.

The price of gasoline is set by the Energy and Water Ministry each month according to the following components: the cost of oil (NIS 3.42 per liter in September), excise tax (NIS 2.99), marketing margins (NIS 0.64), as well as 17% VAT on the three aforementioned components.

In addition, there is a full-service fee of NIS 0.17, which brings the total price per liter to NIS 8.42.

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