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TEL AVIV, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — Israel will increase its defence expenditures by 6 percent or $780 million in 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“We plan to add to the defence budget an extra 3 billion shekels ($780 million),” said Netanyahu, who last year promoted the budget cuts and further financial injections into social reforms.
This year’s budget totals $13 billion, remaining broadly unchanged from last year.
“Given the abundant challenges surrounding us, it would be a big mistake to cut the defence budget,” he told a news conference underlining that the funds will be taken from the budget reduction in other ministries and departments.
Earlier the Israel Defense Forces reported that Israel and the United States will hold unprecedented missile defence drills within the upcoming weeks.
According to the source, the exercise “was planned beforehand and is not linked with the current events”, in particular with Iran’s recent missile tests.