Knesset Committee Allocates Additional NIS 780 Million to Israel's Defense Budget

Increase in budget comes at expense of other government offices such as welfare, housing, and tourism; opposition MKs demand that purpose of additional funds be disclosed to public officials.

The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday allocated an additional NIS 780 million to Israel's defense budget, which came at the expense of other government offices such as welfare and housing.

The addition will bring the defense system's expenditure ceiling from NIS 59.93 billion to NIS 60.7 billion.

Barak with IDF - Defense Ministry
Defense Ministry

The NIS 780 million added to the defense budget comes at the expense of the budget allocated for the offices of welfare, housing, tourism, communication, industry, trade and labor, population and immigration authority, and environment protection.

Members of the committee did not receive details specifying the purposes for which the additional money will be used.

The decision was approved after the government coalition recruited several Knesset members in order to secure a majority.

Opposition MKs denounced the large increase in the defense budget and demanded an explanation for the move.

"It cannot be that crucial information on the transfer of millions of shekels is being hidden from public officials," said Labor MK Raleb Majadele on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni (National Union) said that the funds were taken "since they were not used in the other offices."

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