Israel approves additional defense budget to deal with Iranian threat

Israel’s Knesset finance committee on Thursday approved an additional defense budget totaling nearly 7.4 billion shekels ($ 2.4 billion).

Items included in new funding are classified, but move comes amid reports Israel was preparing contingency plans to act militarily against Iran as a last resort if diplomatic efforts fail to curtail its nuclear program .

Parliamentary sources said this came in light of preparations for the launch of a new round of military exercises simulating an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The supplementary budget was approved following an eight-hour meeting in the Knesset as part of the ongoing process to allocate funds for 2021.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz did not include that budget in the NIS 58 billion ($ 17.8 billion) defense budget approved earlier for 2022, the sources revealed.

They added that the military had requested an additional 9 billion shekels, while the finance ministry reduced the amount to just 7.4 billion shekels.

The military said two billion shekels of that amount would be allocated to compensate for weapons and ammunition used in the war against the Gaza Strip in May and one billion shekels would be allocated to increase allowances for the disabled in May. the army.

The remainder of the amount will be added to the previously approved defense budget to prepare for a possible attack on Iran, intensify attacks in Syria and for army reinforcements.

Israel has the capacity to carry out a successful strike on Iranian nuclear sites as early as tomorrow, the country’s new air force commander said on Friday in an interview published on the Ynet news site.

Major General Tomer Bar will replace Major General Amikam Norkin as head of the Israeli Air Force in April 2022.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah will be “everything” for a merciless war with Israel, Bar said.

“He had been waiting for this order for 30 years [from Tehran], and there is no way he will be absent from such a conflict, with all the force at his disposal. Israel must be prepared.

“The third war against Lebanon cannot be compared to the first war, in 1982, nor to the second war, in 2006,” he threatened.

Although Iran has doubled the strength of the party several times over the past few years, dramatically increased its offensive and defensive capabilities, and developed its electronic and cyber warfare technologies, it cannot predict the extent of its strength. Israeli army, Bar warned.

They must be aware that Israel wants a clear and real victory as soon as possible and with minimal losses, he added.

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