(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The budget dispute between the Israeli defense and finance ministries was settled Monday, as the Finance Ministry partially granted the Defense Ministry’s request for a budget increase, appropriating an additional 1 billion shekels ($289 million).
The Defense Ministry had originally sought a budget increase of NIS 2.7 billion ($781 million), sparking a months-long dispute with the Finance Ministry. A defense official said Monday that the appropriated funds would allow the defense establishment to meet the budgetary challenges it faces in 2014.
One of the first issues to be addressed is the renewal of the Israeli Air Force’s training flights. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered the suspension of all non-essential and training air force flights on June 1, citing the budget crunch.
In exchange for the budget increase, the defense ministry agreed to vacate a military base adjacent to the Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv, freeing up prime real estate in the city and allowing the Israel Land Authority to develop the area.