Additional $800 million for defense budget of Israel to increase security of the country 0111133

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Defence & Security News - Israel

 
 
Friday, November 1, 2013 11:59 AM
 
Additional $800 million for the defense budget of Israel to increase the security of the country.
Israeli security cabinet authorized an additional budget of 2.75 billion shekels (about 800 million U.S. dollars) for the Defense Ministry on Thursday, said a statement sent by the Prime Minister's Office. According to the statement, the money to be passed to the ministry is a surplus created in the treasury, which allowed to follow through on a ministerial decision from May to increase the defense budget.
     
Israeli security cabinet authorized an additional budget of 2.75 billion shekels (about 800 million U.S. dollars) for the Defense Ministry on Thursday, said a statement sent by the Prime Minister's Office. According to the statement, the money to be passed to the ministry is a surplus created in the treasury, which allowed to follow through on a ministerial decision from May to increase the defense budget.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked about the decision, which was voted on unanimously, that it would "balance between the security challenges the country is facing and the need to carry on navigating the Israeli economy responsibly."
     

In July the Knesset (parliament) approved a two-year austerity budget to curb a deficit of 11 billion shekels (3.12 billion dollars) in the state treasury. According to that budget proposal, the defense budget was set to be cut by 3 billion shekels (0.85 billion dollars) in 2014.

However, Defense Ministry officials charged that the treasury cut about 7.5 billion shekels (2.14 billion dollars) for 2014 and asked for an addition of the remaining 4.5 billion shekels (1.28 billion U.S. dollars).

Security officials have in recent days passed on messages to the Prime Minister, according to which the army wouldn't be able to fulfill its duties if its budget won't grow.

The treasury objected to the request, saying the increment would cause cuts in other ministries, and a meeting scheduled to take place between the two parties on Wednesday was postponed due to disagreements.

Eventually, the unanimous vote on Thursday was achieved after efforts to reach a compromise were orchestrated by Netanyahu.

The statement added that the government would set up a committee to oversee the defense budget, after reports of big retirement funds going to career soldiers and growing criticism among Israeli civilians and lawmakers about unnecessary spendings in the defense establishment.

 

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