MKs reject defense budget at Ya’alon’s request

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s special subcommittee on the defense budget rejected a proposed NIS 56.1 billion budget for 2016 on Tuesday because it would be too low to handle Israel’s security needs.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) urged the members of the committee to reject the proposed budget because it was inadequate in light of the current wave of Palestinian terrorism.
The budget, he noted, was allocated before the violence began.
“In the face of the challenges the IDF is facing, the current budget unfortunately would not enable the security establishment to work properly,” Ya’alon told the MKs. “As long as additional funds have not been added to the budget, I cannot support it.”
The head of the committee, MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) said passing the current defense budget would be irresponsible.
All the members of the committee voted against the budget, except for Ya’alon critic Oren Hazan (Likud). The committee did, however, authorize a separate budget for moving IDF bases and facilities to the Negev.
The Defense and Finance Ministries have been battling for months over the defense budget since a governmental committee recommended a budget that was significantly lower than then Defense Ministry wanted.
Representatives of the two ministries are expected to restart talks on the budget following the Knesset’s rejection of the proposal.
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