Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ruled
Monday that the defense establishment would be allotted an additional NIS 2.4 billion (approx. $594.7 million) in order to restore full operational capabilities following Operation Cast Lead.
Political insiders claim the decision put an end to a disagreement between the Defense Ministry and the Treasury as to the amount of the auxiliary funds the defense establishment would be entitled to.
The additional funds, meant to cover the military's expenditures during the Gaza offensive, are set to come out of the 2009 budget. However, given that Olmert's government is a de facto transit government,
the 2009 budget has yet to be approved.
All government bureaus are currently operating on a month-by-month contingency budget, derived from the 2008 State Budget.
Rehabilitating the military's operational capabilities is an expenditure that was not included in the original outline of the 2009 budget bill and therefore the funds are likely to be allotted over several months.
The Prime Minister's Office offered the following: "Reimbursing the military's expenditures for Operation Cast Lead is a subject discussed by the appropriate Defense Ministry and Treasury forums.
"The Prime Minister's Office is involved in the professional decisions made and believes the details are best kept within the forums' doors."
The Finance Ministry declined comment.