Minister of Home Front Defense Gilad Erdan has accused his fellow Likud minister Moshe Ya’alon, the Minister of Defense, of deliberately withholding funds in an ongoing dispute between the two.
Conflicts between Erdan and Ya’alon began last summer with the Defense Ministry’s refusal to transfer various matters pertaining to civilian defense to the Home Front Defense Ministry’s auspices, including the authority to set policy on bomb shelters.
Due to the administrative set-up of the two ministries, the Home Front Defense Ministry’s budget is transferred via the Defense Ministry. According to Erdan, Ya’alon’s ministry has failed to transfer 220 million shekels.
According to Yediot Aharonot, Erdan has appealed to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to intervene. Erdan reportedly argues that the budget holdup has caused the delay of several significant projects, including emergency drills and the purchase of warning sirens.
The Defense Ministry held up the Home Front Defense Ministry’s 2013 budget for three and a half months for no reason, he has accused.
Sources in the Defense Ministry said that the matter is “under investigation.” They expressed opposition to decision to transfer responsibility for Home Front defense to a separate ministry under Erdan.
The sources termed the Home Front Defense Ministry “unnecessary,” and pointed to the effects of last month’s winter storm on Israel as proof that Erdan’s ministry had not effectively handled threats to Home Front safety.