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Israeli Government Approves Increased Wartime Budget Amid Gaza Conflict

In response to the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza, the Israeli Finance Ministry has announced the government’s approval of an updated wartime budget for 2024. The original budget, sanctioned in May 2023, faced adjustments due to the heightened military expenses following the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack. The revised budget, totaling 582 billion shekels ($155 billion), includes a notable 55 billion shekels allocated for defense, covering combat-related costs and bolstering the army.

The Ministry disclosed that all ministries experienced budget cuts to accommodate the increased military spending. The total budget also features a 9-billion-shekel grant plan for military reservists, security measures, mental health system support, and rehabilitation efforts in southern areas neighboring Gaza.

The National Unity ministers, a major opposition faction joining the war cabinet, opposed the budget, asserting it lacks fundamental shifts in priorities and overlooks the war’s severe consequences. The Bank of Israel estimates the war is costing the nation $600 million weekly, equivalent to approximately 6% of the weekly GDP, while Israel’s treasury minister notes a daily direct cost of about $246 million for the Gaza conflict.