AS THE dust from Operation Protective Edge settles, the toll of dead and wounded on both sides of the Gaza border are uppermost in our thoughts. But the direct and indirect economic costs must also be weighed.

The economic cost of Operation Protective Edge as of August 3 was estimated at six billion shekels ($1.7 billion). The government’s 2014/15 budget is far behind schedule, and all talk of defense budget cuts has been replaced by discussion of how many additional billions of shekels will be needed for the IDF. Israel has already asked the US for $225 million for additional Iron Dome parts.

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