Knesset committee green-lights $18.5 billion defense budget

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously approves the government’s proposed NIS 59 billion ($18.5 billion) defense budget.

The defense budget — as part of the overall national budget — now awaits confirmation by the entire Knesset.

A committee spokesperson says the vote was held today following dozens of meetings by the committee and its subcommittees about the budget and after they made a number of changes in terms of how the funds were allocated “to allow better appropriation for the security needs identified by the committee and to allow better parliamentary oversight over the use of the budget.”

In a statement, the head of the committee — Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben-Barak — says the budget “provides a good response to the challenges facing us, while understanding the social and economic needs of the State of Israel.”

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