IDF soldiers' salaries to increase by 50 percent

Government approves substantial pay raise for IDF soldiers; 'No more appropriate time than on eve of Hanukkah,' says Netanyahu.

Hezki Baruch,

Modern-day Maccabees: IDF soldiers on patrol
Modern-day Maccabees: IDF soldiers on patrol
Basel Awidat / Flash 90

The Israeli government approved at its weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning a 50 percent pay raise for IDF soldiers beginning in January 2016. 

Starting next month, combat soldiers will receive a monthly salary of NIS 1,616 ($423.30), compared to the 1,077 ($282.12) they received in December. Combat support soldiers will receive NIS 1,176 ($308.05), and noncombat soldier will receive NIS 810 ($212.18) compared with their respective previous salaries of NIS 784 ($205.37) and 540 ($141.45).

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu introduced the measure, saying: "At this time, on the eve of Hanukkah, there is no more appropriate time to submit the initiative of raising the salary of conscript soldiers."

"In the end, we live on our defensive capabilities, which IDF soldiers provide, and I am pleased that there is agreement – between the Finance Minister, the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister."

"I assume, and I am certain, that all ministers will join in raising the salary of IDF soldiers;it is necessary, right and correct, and there is no better gift for the eve of Hanukkah," Netanyahu added. 

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud), herself a former Brigadier General, welcomed the decision. 

"The Israeli government stands on the side of IDF soldiers who stand on the security of the state," Regev praised. "We, in the government, approved today a fifty percent increase in the wages of soldiers. There is nothing more right or proper than this."

"We are proud of our soldiers and salute them," she added. "Improving the conditions of their service is the least we can do to honor them with gratitude. I hope they will all be healthy and return home in peace."