No cutback in Israeli defense spending
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily NewsThe Knesset Finance Committee made a hurried decision Dec. 21 to increase the defense budget by 779 million shekels, despite the many calls by the Finance Ministry and the Trajtenberg Committee to cut the defense budget instead, Haaretz newspaper said in its online edition.
The proposal to increase the defense budget to a total of 60.7 billion shekels ($16.08 billion) was approved within minutes “without an intensive discussion,” the Israeli paper reported on Dec. 21.
The coalition government had recruited Knesset members to make sure it had a majority for the decision.
The hike will most likely be approved at the beginning of the new year as part of an agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Finance Ministry and the Defense Ministry, the paper said, citing sources.
The Trajtenberg Committee, which was appointed in the wake of this summer’s cost of living protests, had called for cutting the defense budget in order to fund more social programs.