Dollar bills 370.
(photo credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters)
The Knesset Finance Committee blocked the transfer of NIS 1.8 billion in
“surplus” funds from the 2012 budget to the Defense Ministry on Monday, saying
it required explanations to justify the transfer of such large
“You cannot authorize such a large budget transfer casually,
without comprehensive explanations on how such a surplus came about at a time
that the defense establishment requires more funds. This while the other
ministries are asked to tighten their belts,” said Committee chairman MK Nissan
Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi).
A Finance Ministry official explained that the
surplus funds were from American defense aid, left over from 2012.
in the shekel budget, a negligible sum of NIS 4 million remained, in the dollar
(aid) budget a surplus remained,” said the representative.
make use of American money for anything but approved purposes.” But the
explanation did not satisfy Slomiansky and the committee.
The aid funds,
for example, could have been used first, which would have left excess funds from
the defense ministry’s Israel-based budget available.
Ministry and Defense Ministry have been involved in a prolonged disagreement
over the defense budget, with the former arguing that the latter could “trim the
In late October, the security cabinet unanimously
voted to increase the defense budget by NIS 2.75b.
giving the ministry a
moderate victory; it had sought NIS 1.75b. more.