Israel Approves 50 Percent Pay Raise for Soldiers in Mandatory Service

The decision by the defense and finance ministries is expected to cost $291 million next year

Yaniv Kubovich
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IDF soldiers in a training exercise, in 2020.
IDF soldiers in a training exercise, in 2020.Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Yaniv Kubovich

Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed on Tuesday that soldiers doing their mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces will receive a 50 percent pay increase as of next year.

The salary increases, which are being made in coordination with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, are expected to cost the government about 900 million shekels ($291 million) in 2022, and will be partially funded by the existing defense budget with the rest coming from a special allocation from the Finance Ministry, an announcement from the defense minister said.

According to a statement issued by Gantz, in January's paycheck, combat soldiers will receive 2,463 shekels (about $800) per month, compared to the current 1,642 (about $530). Combat soldiers who serve on the front lines will be paid 3,048 shekels (about $980) in their third and final year of military service. Soldiers in combat support roles will receive 1,793 (about $580) and other non-combat soldiers will receive 1,235 shekels (about $400), as opposed to their current salary of 823 shekels (about $265).

Kochavi said that the pay raises are just one part of a far-ranging plan for helping soldiers in their mandatory service. The plan, he said, also involves improving conditions for lone soldiers (IDF soldiers who are not supported by their families) and service members who need financial assistance.

“The decision does justice for those who serve, and has significant implications for building the forces of the IDF and its continued existence as a people’s army,” Defense Minister Gantz said.

For his part, Finance Minister Lieberman called the pay increases for soldiers “a mark of appreciation and recognition for their service in the IDF, and that they constitute a mainstay for the security and resilience of the State of Israel and its citizens.”

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