Israel is concerned that the broad US budget cuts that went in to effect Friday evening will affect its economy, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting.
"The economic difficulties in the United States worry us. I hope that we will not be hurt by them," he said.
The across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, are expected to have negative repercussions for the US economy as a whole, and could potentially cut military aid to Israel and defense cooperation on programs such as the Arrow and David's Sling missile defense systems. The threat of the such wide-ranging cuts was originally intended to force a fiscal agreement between Democrats and Republicans, but failed to produce results.
“The international environment is very tough and it is required of us to act responsibly and boldly and to work hard to maintain all of Israel's economy and Israel's citizens,” Steinitz said, adding in a plug for parties to drop resistance to joining the government in ongoing coalition talks.