Aviv Kochavi
Aviv KochaviFlash90

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Aviv Kochavi said that the progress of the Iranian nuclear program has led the IDF to accelerate its operational plans, and the recently approved defense budget reflects this.

"The IDF is working systematically and in various ways to reduce Iran's influence in the Middle East," Kochavi said.

The chief of staff referred to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and to the continued launching of incendiary balloons from the enclave, "The IDF is preparing, with a concerted effort, for the possibility of another operation in Gaza," Kochavi said. "We do not accept and will not accept a violation of our sovereignty, no matter who is behind it, and Hamas is responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip."

Against the background of the criticism leveled at the IDF for increasing the pensions of retired permanent servicemen, the Chief of Staff said that raising the salaries of conscripts in general and soldiers in particular is a major and valuable issue. "The defense minister, the finance minister and I are working hard to promote it personally."

The defense budget for the years 2021-2022 is expected to be about NIS 58 billion a year. The Iron Dome system saved NIS 500 million during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May and NIS 300 million during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 by preventing damage to civilian infrastructure. which the government would have provided compensation for.