Netanyahu Boosts Military Budget

Friday, 17 August, 2018 - 13:00
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the "2030 Defense Concept" to the cabinet Thursday in which he proposed increasing the military budget by 30 billion shekel (USD7 billion).

Currently, the security budget is 68 billion shekel (around USD19 billion) according to the 2017 budget, 5.6 percent of the national product.

Netanyahu is planning on adding 0.2-0.3% of GNP to the defense budget while continuing the Israeli army streamlining program.

He said that the target is a defense budget of at least 6% of GNP, adding that when the GNP reaches half trillion American dollars, the required rate for spending on security needs will be reconsidered.

The additional outlays will go toward strengthening the country’s offensive capabilities, cyber capabilities, upgrading its anti-missile defense systems, protective measures on the home front and the completion of security barriers.

“Due to our small area, the population concentration and the numerous threats around us, Israel will always have security needs that are much greater than any other state of similar size,” said Netanyahu. “Today the Israeli economy is strong enough to allow for this supplement. In any case, the increase will be enacted while maintaining a responsible budgetary framework."

Netanyahu continued: “In the last 20 years we have cultivated a free economy in order to serve national needs, especially security. Today we are called upon to invest more in security in order to defend our achievements and ensure continued economic growth.”

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