Lieberman: Increased defense budget necessary due to ‘substantial changes’ in Middle East

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman requested that Finance Minister Moshe Kahon increase the defense budget by several billion shekels. Lieberman warns of the growing Iranian threat, claiming: “There is currently a change in the security situation that requires an increase in the defense budget.”
New threats to the north Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News

During a briefing for military correspondents today (Monday), Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that he intends to request that Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon increase the country’s military budget by 4.8 billion NIS, which will be spread over a three-year period, in light of “significant developments on the security front within the region.” Lieberman made clear that he “can’t specify all of the substantial changes.”

Lieberman explained that the Israeli security establishment requires more funding in order to manage the massive Russian military presence in Syrian territory. “More accurate and higher-quality weapons that cost more have entered the region reaching Hezbollah,” Lieberman stated. “Alongside the rapid development of ballistic missiles in Iran, this should be addressed in the multi-year program.”

Israeli Defense Minister Lieberman on a tour in northern Israel Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Defense Ministry

Israel’s current defense budget comprises 12% of the country’s total budget. The Israeli Defense Ministry emphasized that the region’s changes demand a modified perspective towards the budget: “If Iran invests about 22% of its budget towards defense, we can’t be far behind them and at the same time preserve our superiority.”

The Israeli Defense Minister made clear that he does not intend to specify all of the details regarding the significant changes in Israel’s security situation. “When the agreement was signed between the Defense and Finance Ministries, a special clause was inserted, according to which the agreement may be reopened in the event of a ‘significant’ economic or defense change, to be defined by the ministries themselves,” Lieberman said. “There is currently a change in the security situation that requires an increase in the defense budget.”



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