The first day of the trading week in the Middle East did prove that the economic crisis, is clearly affecting the region as stock markets in Dubai and Egypt dropped about four per cent, while in Israel the market plunged by seven per cent, which analysts say is a consequence of the downgrade of the debt rating in the U.S.

The latest stock market plunge will be yet more bad news for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government as on Saturday an estimated 300,000 people took to the streets to press their demands for social justice and lower living costs in the largest demonstrations over social issues ever seen in the country.

Demonstrations about the rising costs of food, education, healthcare, housing, childcare, fuel, food and electricity, have refused to die down, and despite the Prime Minister agreeing to implement new reforms, protests are still on-going.

Demonstrators are also demanding that the government lower taxes, subsidize housing and bring prices down.

The protests, which began with a handful of tents erected in Tel Aviv, have grown in the last few weeks, with the middle class blaming the government's reluctance to answer their demands.

While Israel's economy is growing at an annual rate of five per cent, and unemployment is relatively low, protesters are growing increasingly worried about the gap between the rich and the poor, which they say keeps on widening.

Up to 250,000 people marched through Tel Aviv to Israel's military headquarters on Saturday, causing major disruptions throughout the city while in Jerusalem, up to 30,000 people marched to the Prime Minister's residence, chanting what has become the demonstrators' slogan of choice: "The people demand social justice."

Activists have now called for more protests to and say they will push for a million-strong march to take place on 3 September.

Since the beginning of the protests, Netanyahu has seen is approval ratings fall sharply with some of the demonstrators reportedly calling for him to step down. The Prime Minister however said that while he acknowledged the protesters demands, reforms will take some time as no quick fix solutions will not help fight the root causes of the crisis.

He also announced last week, the formation of a panel of government ministers and top economists that will be in charge of drawing up a plan to reduce the cost of living while meeting with some of the protesters.

The committee was ordered to report within a month and in a statement Netanyahu recognised the need for "social corrections."

"It is impossible to ignore the voices coming from the public," the prime minister said in a statement.

"We know that we must make the internal corrections ... social corrections, with sensitivity".

"We will listen to everyone. We will speak with everyone." He added.

His latest statement however further angered activists who said that despite setting up a committee and insisting the panellist will regularly meet with the protesters, the Prime Minister has until now refused to personally meet with demonstrators.