Transparency International's 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index has given Israel its worst ever score in the global rankings of how governments deal with graft, it was reported on Tuesday.
The occupation state is ranked 36th out of 180 countries in the 2021 report, after ranking 28th five years ago, said the Times of Israel. Among 37 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Israel is ranked 29th, dropping four places compared to a year earlier.
The rankings are derived from each country's "perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople" based on data collected from 13 organisations, including the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and Freedom House.
Nili Arad, the chairwoman of Transparency International Israel, was reported as saying that this year's index "indicates that the phenomenon of corruption in Israel is strengthening."
She said that the phenomenon is particularly concerning in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, "when an extra measure of transparency is needed as protection against harming the foundations of democracy."
In 2019, a serving Israeli prime minister was indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The now ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said earlier this week to have rejected the claim that he is set to agree a plea bargain with prosecutors.