A new report shows that over one third of Israelis are at risk of falling below the poverty line, almost twice the rate of poverty risk in the European Union, itself plagued by a financial crisis.

According to a report released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday, about 31 percent of Israelis are close to the poverty line. The current figure is up from 26 percent in 2001.

The report also indicates that some 40 percent of Israeli children are facing the risk of poverty, which is also double the rate in Europe.

The rate in 2011, the same as this year's, was even higher than in debt-ridden Spain and Greece, where 20 percent of the population was at risk of poverty.

Momi Dahan, an official at Hebrew University in al-Quds (Jerusalem), said the high poverty rate is due to Israel's constant cuts in welfare benefits over the past 30 years.

He added that the 2013 Israeli austerity budget "continues the current policy of cutting welfare spending, mainly through cuts in children benefits, which now became even lower."

Many Israelis have been migrating in recent months to Germany and the United States. It is said that the Israelis are leaving Israel on economic grounds.

High taxes and low salaries have had adverse effects on the lives of Israelis, specifically the middle class, in recent years.

Discontented Israelis almost regularly take to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest against Tel Aviv's economic plans and the painful austerity measures, which would raise income and value-added taxes and cut welfare benefits.