Officials said the allocation was meant to fund a classified project,
believed to include the procurement of additional Iron Dome missile and
rocket defense batteries. They said the committee had delayed the Finance
Ministry's request because no reason was given for the supplemental budget.
On April 12, the Israeli military said it would accelerate preparations
to deploy a third Iron Dome battery, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the military hoped to
station the battery by November.
The supplemental defense budget was submitted by the Finance Ministry in
January and called for 700 million shekel, or $203 million. Officials said the
request was linked to unrest in Egypt and the prospect that the regime in
Cairo would lose control of the Sinai Peninsula.
In 2011, the Defense Ministry has been allocated $16 billion for its
annual budget. The government has also agreed to provide the ministry with
billion to complete classified programs.
The Defense Ministry has urged the government to provide funds for the
protection of residents of southern Israel from Hamas and Palestinian
militia rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The ministry has also urged
procurement of additional fuel and munitions to battle Hamas and other
"We regret the fact that while the fighting goes on in the south,
Treasury personnel engage in intrigues that do not help efforts to
defend residents of the south," the Defense Ministry said.