Government Agrees on Increased Defense Budget for 2022

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have agreed on a defense budget to be passed as part of the state budget for 2022: NIS 58 billion ($17.8 billion).

The ministers agreed that the defense budget would enable the IDF to equip and strengthen itself in light of current threats, with an emphasis on acquisitions from defense firms based in the Israeli periphery.

The understandings also included an allocation of NIS 750 million ($230 million) for the home front; promotion of reforms in the treatment and recognition of wounded IDF veterans; and full funding for a scholarship program for veterans of IDF service and national service.

A decision was also taken to decide on the length of compulsory IDF service, based on a balanced framework that the Defense Ministry has laid out.

An official message reported that “the prime minister, finance minister, and defense minister welcome the agreement and call on all ministers and ministries to reach understandings as soon as possible so the state budget can be approved in an orderly manner in the cabinet and the Knesset.”

Meanwhile, reports Tuesday said that Liberman wanted the defense establishment to invest more resources into the IDF’s ground forces, particularly long-range, precise ground missiles, and thinks that the defense apparatus spends liberally on the Israeli Air Force at the expense of the military’s ground forces.