'Israel’s defense spending will increase if peace achieved'

As a result, officials say, Israel will likely continue to work with US in terms of financial and military cooperation and support, even in a climate of peace.

By JORDANA HORN
November 10, 2010 07:01
1 minute read.
A TANK battles sandy terrain. Maj. Yair and his te

idf tank 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

NEW YORK – If success is reached in pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace, significantly larger defense expenditures will be required on Israel’s part to bolster and safeguard that peace, Israeli government officials said Tuesday.

Noting that the country’s defense expenditures constituted a significant economic burden, the officials said defense expenditures would increase under any circumstances, whether or not there was peace in the coming years.

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“The idea that any time in the coming years, Israel could drastically slash its defense expenditures – that’s a myth,” a government official said. “Unfortunately, we will have to continue to increase our defense expenditures.”

Even in the event that the peace process succeeds and a historic deal is reached with the Palestinians, the official continued, “any territorial concession by Israel will require them to be augmented by security arrangements which could compel significant expenditures.”

From the point of view of long-term government planning, officials said, the presumption of the defense burden would remain.

“This does not mean that we’re not interested in making peace,” one official said emphatically. “It’s just challenging the illusion that with peace, there’s a better deal in this regard.”

As a result, Israel will likely continue to work with the United States in terms of financial and military cooperation and support, even in a climate of peace.

“The Congress generally gives that support every year, and the assumption is that because of all the challenges out there, Israel will require that continued support,” an official said.


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