Photo: Eli Mendelbaum
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to freeze the budget supplement promised to the defense establishment in the 2012 fiscal year.
Netanyahu is worried about the possible impact the financial crisis in the US and Western Europe would have on the Israeli economy, Yedioth Aharonoth reported on Thursday.
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The assumption was that the expected growth in Israel's economy would enable the allocation of additional funds to the 2012 defense budget; but the downturn in global markets is now expected to cut the growth rate and with it the budget supplements.
The defense establishment had argued that it required additional funds in light of the upheaval in the Arab world – most notably the instability in Egypt, the growing threat from Iran and its weapons' shipments to Hezbollah. In addition, acquiring additional anti-rocket Iron Dome missile batteries is costly.
Netanyahu did, however, reject a demand made by leaders of the social protest that the state's allocation of funds to social causes come at the expense of a reduction in the defense budget.
The prime minister is convinced that this demand is hasty and ignores the real threats to the nation's security.
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