(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Announcement following the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 12 August, 2007)

In the framework of the discussions over the 2008 defense budget, the Cabinet was presented with the agreement reached between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Finance Minister Ronie Bar-On, and approved by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Accordingly, the base of the defense budget would stand, as advised by the Brodet Commission, at NIS 50.5 billion.  The sum of NIS 500 Million will be allocated to the 2007 security budget, pending the receipt of the forthcoming supplementary NIS 650 million in US aid. It was agreed that NIS 1.3 billion of the NIS 50.5 billion, would be spread out and paid in 2009.

The budget, which met the approval of professionals in both the IDF and the Ministry of Defense, constitutes an expression of the Government’s trend to strengthen the security budget and place it at the head of national priorities.  It was also agreed upon between the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Finance Minister, to continue to regularly follow regional developments and assess their influence upon the needs of the security establishment and the defense budget.