(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Over 1.5 million (1.63m.) Israelis live below the poverty line, a report published Thursday by the National Insurance Institute revealed.
The number includes 775,000 children. According to the figures, while the number of children classified as "impoverished" rose slightly in 2006 as compared to 2005, the percentage of poor children among the total population of children in Israel remained the same.
The National Council for the Child stressed that Israel's percentage of impoverished children (one out of three) was the "highest in the world."
"This figure is not only horrible for the poor children themselves," the council said in a statement, "but represents a strategic threat to the security of Israel."
Attorney Eran Weintraub, director of the Latet charity, said in response to the NII report that in addition to the figures available on children, the situation of the country's elderly had improved "somewhat," but that nothing fundamental had changed in the state of Israel's poor.