Government cuts in child benefits have pushed tens of thousands of Israeli children beneath the poverty line, according to an annual report published Sunday, and one in five of the country’s senior citizens cannot sufficiently support themselves.
According to the report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a rights watchdog, only three OECD member states have lower child-benefits rates than Israel.
When discussing senior citizens, the report concluded that a number of reforms that would benefit the elderly — such as a free dental care program — had been terminated following the elections in January.
An average of 1,000 families were disconnected from the water supply each month as well, the report said.
The study’s authors pointed to discrimination in the private sector as well, citing numerous polls that suggested Israeli business owners continuously disfavored Arabs, women, mothers, IDF reserve soldiers, members of the ultra-Orthodox community, and citizens of Oriental background.
The report did not spare the Israeli Police and stated that police activity had illegally curbed the freedom of assembly and protest. The report mentioned cases in which the police arrested demonstrators, despite the fact that the protest itself was authorized; instances of police violence against demonstrators; and threats by policemen against demonstration organizers.