IDF Nixes Reservist Training Due to Budget Cuts

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz says unprecedented lack of resources may have 'dramatic impact on the Israeli military.'

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
IDF Chief of Staff Benny GantzCredit: AFP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Israel Defense Forces reservist training for 2014 will be canceled due to budget cuts, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said on Monday.

"National priorities are changing, and with it, unfortunately, decisions on defense," Gantz said during a ceremony honoring outstanding reservists.

The defense establishment is confronting an unprecedented lack of resources that may have a "dramatic impact on the IDF," he said, adding that the decision to cancel reservist training was chief among many "painful" decisions made in recent days.

Gantz also said he is concerned about the military's preparedness at present and looking toward the future, and that "everything is being done to prevent the budget cuts from hurting Israel's defense system."

Last Thursday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon announced the cancelation of a home front drill slated for next month, also due to budgetary considerations. The "Turning Point 8" home front drill takes place every year, with the participation of various authorities – including home front command, government offices, local authorities, the education establishment and emergency and rescue services.

"Postponing the drill is the first step on the way to a near complete cessation of drills in the IDF and in the security establishment due to budget constraints," the official said.

Last Wednesday, Ya'alon warned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the security establishment is in a "budgetary crisis." The meeting also raised for the first time the possibility of putting an end to army drills.

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