Hirchson, Peretz to meet Sunday on defense budget

Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson and Defense Minister Amir Peretz were expected to meet on Sunday to discuss the finance ministry's objections to the budget submitted by the defense ministry, which totals NIS 33.5 billion. According to the finance ministry, the majority of the defense budget - some NIS 20 billion - is allocated for salaries, pensions, and rehabilitation for IDF personnel. Israel Radio reported that the defense ministry has also requested NIS 11 billion to cover the cost of the recent war in Lebanon, as well as a sum of NIS 10 billion for "preparations," an amount that does not include the cost of replenishing the IDF's supplies of fuel and ammunition.