Netanyahu: NIS 39 Billion Budget Deficit Won't Affect Israelis

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reacting on Sunday to news that Israel's national budget has a NIS 39 billion ($10.4 billion) hole, said Israelis would not be affected by it.  

"I don't think this will have significant ramifications for Israeli citizens," Netanyahu told reporters during a visit to northern Israel.

He added that the number, which was published on Sunday by the Finance Ministry, exceeded the expected figure by only 0.3 percent.

Netanyahu harshly criticized former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who recently accused him of wasting NIS 11 billion on preparations for a military strike on Iran that never materialized.

"Olmert's statements are unfortunate and irresponsible, coming from a person who wasted billions on the disengagement and uprooting Jews," he said, referring to Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005.

"The attack against me comes from supporters of the disengagement who are attempting to recruit the world against Israel at a time when we are trying to recruit the world against a nuclear Iran," Netanyahu added, despite the fact that he also voted in favor of the disengagement plan. 

A Netanyahu election sign in Jerusalem, January 10, 2013.Credit: Emil Salman