Israel will not increase its defense budget in 2019. The country’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman had insisted on receiving additional NIS 4.5 billion. But, Israel’s Treasury is not willing for an increment beyond the decided amount in previous five terms agreement.
How Much Israel Spends on Its Defense Budget?
Israel is on the list of countries who make huge spending on their defense. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2016, Israel spent $17.8 bn or 5.8% of its GDP on defense needs. According to reports, Israel’s next budget would amount to NIS 470 billion, and it wouldn’t see an increase in the defense budget as Avigdor Lieberman has demanded. Education and Transportation are the sectors that would receive more share in the budget for development purpose.
Significant resources of Israel’s defense budget are Israeli Taxpayers, US Aid and also the income of the Defense ministry.
Does Israel Need an Increase in Defense Budget?
Reports say that Avigdor Lieberman insisted on an increase in budget spending by citing following three reasons.
- Russian presence in Syria, that was non-existent in 2015, the year when Finance ministry signed the current budget deal.
- He also referred to use of precision weaponry by Hezbollah that may pose a threat to Israel.
- He also mentioned to the booming Iranian defense industry.
Israel, which is seemingly employing an aggressive approach rather than defensive one, may not have a real threat from all the factions mentioned above. In case of Russia, the country should seek help from its ally the US, which is already doing more than enough for it. In the Middle East, there is no united and well-organized alliance against Israel. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Qatar, and Bahrain are too busy in making alliances against each other. In such a situation no economic power in the region can be in a position to jeopardize Israel’s stability.
Iran’s Threat to Israel
Isreal has also seen Iran’s conservative government as a threat, which is not much stable in the present circumstance. According to Avigdor Lieberman, Arab League also has same concerns about Iran. Countries of the region are fearing Iran’s potential hegemony in the Middle East. Even in such a scenario country is not alone as it has got reliable allies in the form of Arab League countries. Israel also amasses enormous support from the US and the UK. Given such ground realities, Israel doesn’t need an increase in the defense budget, as it might be used for aggressive actions against wretched people of Palestine.