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Israel’s Investment in Defense Is Largest in Years, Bennett Says
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the Knessett Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 10, 2022. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israel’s Investment in Defense Is Largest in Years, Bennett Says

Buoyed by a new budget and a growing economy, Israel is investing in strengthening the Israel Defense Forces and the entire security establishment, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. “I would say that this is strengthening of a kind we have not seen in years. This strengthening is important for our existence and I am very pleased about it and am determined to complete it quickly,” Bennett said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. Israel’s defense budget increased by more than $19 billion for 2022.

Bennett also told the committee that “Iran tops our list of challenges. Iran is the head of an octopus that constantly threatens Israel on all its borders via its proxies and its tentacles.” He also reminded the committee that Israel is not a party to any nuclear agreements struck between Iran and the world powers, which are continuing negotiations in Vienna toward renewing the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“It is important for me to say here clearly and unequivocally: Israel is not a party to the agreements. Israel is not bound to what will be written in the agreements if they are signed. Israel will maintain unlimited and unrestricted freedom of action, everywhere and at all times,” Bennett said.

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