The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday approved an NIS 500 million increase to the 2012 military budget, which brings the budget’s total to approximately NIS 60.3 billion.

The rise is part of a NIS 3 billion increase to the 2012 budget proposed by the government in January, which has yet to be approved by the Knesset Finance Committee.

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The Defense Ministry will still push for the remaining NIS 2.5 billion supplement to the budget to be paid by the end of the year, a ministry official said Wednesday.

During the committee meeting, Finance Ministry officials called for cutting the NIS 2.5 billion increase, but the committee did not grant the demand.

Also on Wednesday, the finance committee approved a government decision to slash NIS 286 million from other government ministries, largely to pay for the military budget increase.

During a cabinet meeting in mid-August, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that changes taking place in the region demand a reassessment of the country’s defense needs.

“The threats directed at the State of Israel are changing and we need to be prepared for that,” Netanyahu said.

“We need to ensure that the security Israeli citizens have enjoyed in the past three-and-a-half years continues through the changing conditions.”

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.