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