Eyeing Iran, Bennett says military undergoing largest rearmament in years


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Eyeing Iran, Bennett says military undergoing largest rearmament in years
Prime minister tells Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Tehran remains country’s most significant foe, Israel fighting Iranian forces constantly
By Judah Ari Gross
10 January 2022

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Knesset on Monday that the country’s military and other security services were undergoing their largest rearming in years. Bennett’s comments came as the IDF was working intensively to prepare for a potential military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, amid growing concerns that ongoing talks between the world powers and Tehran in Vienna about curbing the latter’s nuclear program may result in an agreement that Israel deems unacceptable, or in no agreement whatsoever.

“We are investing in security rearmament of the IDF and the entire defense establishment. I would say this was rearmament that we haven’t seen for years. This rearmament is important to our survival, and I am very glad about it and am determined to see it through quickly,” Bennett said, speaking to the parliament’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Bennett’s government increased the 2022 defense budget to nearly NIS 60 billion ($19.2 billion), a large chunk of which was to be earmarked for planning on military engagement with Iran, including billions to upgrade or procure vehicles, ordnance and more.

In a criticism of his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett claimed the military had been in a “tailspin” for years, which “severely damaged Israeli national security, in every dimension.” Bennett was defense minister under Netanyahu in 2019 and 2020.

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