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Gantz tells Knesset defense budget increase needed to prepare for strike on Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz appears before the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to justify increasing the government’s budget for the military, warning that more funds are needed to prepare for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear program.

This summer, the government announced that it had agreed to a defense budget of 58 billion shekels ($ 17.5 billion) for 2022, an increase from the previous defense budget which was set in 2019 and has remained in effect because governments have failed to adopt it since. a new.

“Israel is contested militarily on many fronts, so it is very important to approve a defense budget, after years without a fixed budget, which has – to some extent – damaged our ability to act, our ability to have effective communication, and to build our strengths more effectively, ”says Gantz.

Blue and White Party leader Defense Benny Gantz leads a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on October 4, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)

In his comments, the defense minister asserts that the most important threat to Israel and the one to which the army most needs to allocate its resources is Iran and its nuclear program.

“We see Iran progressing towards the level of enrichment that would allow it, when it wishes, to become a threshold state – and we are doing everything we can to prevent that. We will invest in our offensive and defensive capabilities, improve our technological superiority and accelerate our efforts to ensure that despite the fact that Iran is first and foremost a global and regional challenge, Israel will still have the capacity to defend its citizens with its forces. own forces, ”he said.

Gantz says the defense budget is also needed to prepare the military for a possible war on two fronts, to strengthen the defenses of the civilian home front, to increase the salaries of conscripted soldiers and to provide better benefits to career soldiers. .

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