Defense request for additional budget denied

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz asked for an additional NIS 1.5 billion for the defense budget, in order to combat smuggling and infiltrations at the Egyptian border. Finance Minister Ehud Olmert denied Mofaz's request at the security cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Israel Radio reported. Olmert and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the money needed to be channeled first and foremost to fighting poverty.