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Calling the lack of protection on Israeli passenger planes a "grave security failure," Labor MK Ephraim Sneh slammed former finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday for his cuts to the defense budget.
"While it was clear that the defense budget needed to be cut, the way in which it was done left Israel vulnerable," said a spokesman for Sneh. "He has called for Israel to respond to the Iranian threat, but his own cuts have lessened Israel's ability to launch such a response."
Last week, Netanyahu called for Israel to take "bold" steps against Iran, and at one point suggested that preemptive action might be necessary.
A Netanyahu spokesman said that Sneh's comment had no legitimacy and that cuts in the defense budget had been sanctioned by both the prime minister and the defense minister.
Sneh made the remarks as part of his findings as chairman on the Knesset Subcommittee for Security Preparations. Although Israel had been developing technology that would defend planes against weapons such as shoulder-launched missiles, said Sneh, funding to that program was cut.
Now, he added, Israel has been forced to spend millions buying the technology from other countries.
Sneh warned that Israel's military industries would be hurt and thousands of workers would be laid off if budget cuts continue to be made in departments that are developing weapons.