72 percent of Israelis believe the level of corruption in the country is high or very high, according to a study published Monday.

The survey was conducted by the Sapir College and unveiled at the opening session of the Sderot Conference for Society on Monday.

It also revealed that 45 percent of Israelis believe that the level of corruption in the government is very high, as well as 40 percent who believe the overall level of corruption is higher than ever.

The institutions that are perceived as the most corrupt are the Knesset (46 percent), government ministries (44 percent) and political parties, which 69 percent of the people surveyed think they are inherently corrupt - a 10-percent increase since last year.

Among the institutions perceived as having a low level of corruption are the Israel Defense Forces, the judicial system, the healthcare system, the National Insurance Institute, and - despite the current financial crisis - banks.

The President of the Sderot Conference for Society, Maj. Gen. (retired) Uzi Dayan, said that, "the survey shows that governmental corruption is the most prominent enemy of the public."

"The overwhelming majority says that the corruption of state institutions is the primary factor preventing them from taking pride in their country," he added.

He said that the Israeli public has learned that corruption is not a "victimless crime," and that there is a direct correlation between the election of unfit representatives and the neglect of society.