Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Gantz
Photo: Ido Erez

Cabinet to discuss cuts to defense budget

Defense officials to try to convince government to cancel NIS 4 billion budget cut by giving survey of threats to state

Senior defense officials aiming to avert a major cut in the defense budget will give the cabinet a comprehensive survey of the threats Israel faces on Sunday.


IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, his deputy, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon will take part in a special cabinet meeting to discuss the planned cut in the defense budget.


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The Finance Ministry is determined to cut some NIS 4 billion from the defense establishment's 2014 budget. 


The Defense Ministry is against the cut. "The question is not how much to cut but where does one start and that is what the argument is about," one defense official said.

יעלון וגנץ. "משמעויות דרמטיות לקיצוץ" (צילום: אריאל חרמוני)

Ya'alon and Gantz. 'Dramatic implications' (Photo: Ariel Hermoni)


He further added, "The Finance Ministry wants to considerably reduce the defense budget but this carries dramatic implications. If cuts are made right now we would have to halt training, acquisitions and armament which no one really wants to do."


The main issue to be discussed in the meeting will be the IDF's 2014-2019 enhancement plan and the effects any budget cuts will have on its implementation. The plan includes the purchase of weapons systems and establishment of new units and has been approved for the next five years.


It represents half of the defense budget while the other half is used to pay soldiers' salaries, pensions and compensation to casualties etc.


The cabinet will also discuss a Defense Ministry demand for extra funds to finance security measures for Israel's gas reservoirs. This would involve a single payment of NIS 3 billion for the purchase of vessels and warning systems and an additional annual sum of NIS 400 million.


The Defense Ministry wants the funds to be added to the defense budget while the Finance Ministry believes the expense should be financed from within the existing budget.  


Avital Lahav contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 05.11.13, 23:21
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