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Israel: Lieberman seeks $1.15bn increase in defence budget

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman [Latvian Foreign Ministry/Flickr]

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called his ministry to receive an additional 4 billion shekels ($1.15 billion) in its budget in order to confront the Iranian threat, Israeli media reported.

The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance have been discussing for several months the transfer of additional funds.

Lieberman also went directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and spoke to him about the need for an additional 4 billion shekels ($1.15 billion) in order to prepare for the Iranian threat.

According to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Lieberman is demanding the increase in the budget so that the army can be equipped to confront Iran’s nuclear threat and influence in Syria.

Read: Settlements are Israel’s ‘defensive wall’ says Lieberman

Haaretz reported that Lieberman is worried about the continued instability in the region, the mobilisation of Hezbollah with the help of Iran and the possibility that Iranian forces will be stationed in Syria near the Israeli border.

Additionally, he is concerned that the success of the Assad regime will allow the Syrian Army to be reequipped and retrained.

The Israeli army’s preparedness and the readiness of some units for a major war scenario, as a result of limited financial investments in these areas, are also of concern to Lieberman.

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