Smotrich vetoes procurement of new fighter jets

Apr 1, 2024 10:44 pm | News

Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich today informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is vetoing the convening of the Ministerial Committee for Equipping the Ministry of Defense in order to approve two deals worth NIS 35 billion to procure a squadron of F-15 fighter jets and a squadron of F-35 fighter jets.

Smotrich wrote, “In recent days, the Ministry of Defense has requested to convene, without consent, the committee. Convening the ministerial committee and approving a deal of this magnitude, without the consent of the Ministry of Finance, and over the head of the Minister of Finance, is unprecedented and I do not intend to allow it.”

The dispute between the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Defense is not about the need to procure the new squadrons, but about the fact that it is being done without the committee, which is supposed to discuss the defense budget for the coming years, having not yet been convened. In his letter, Smotrich blames the Ministry of Defense for the fact that establishment of the committee has been dragging on for a long time.

“In a joint summary that I led with the Ministries of Finance and Defense regarding the amended budget for 2024, it was decided that for this purpose a public committee would be set up, which would submit its recommendations within about two months. Since the aforementioned summary, the Ministry of Defense has prevented establishment of the committee, and seeks to establish facts on the ground that require huge budgets, for the aforementioned aircraft purchase deals. With all due respect, such conduct cannot be accepted,” Smotrich wrote to Netanyahu.

The minister of finance added: “The Defense Ministry’s expectations to receive a blank check for huge amounts, which have enormous consequences for the economy, and the quality of life of Israel’s citizens, without any critical thinking, brainstorming, professional, public and government discussion, is neither legitimate nor realistic.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on April 1, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

feed from