Gantz and Netanyahu
Gantz and NetanyahuChaim Goldberg and Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office made clear on Sunday night that the amended budget will be brought before the government for approval on Monday, despite Minister Benny Gantz’s threat to vote against it.

“Tomorrow, we will submit to the Government an unprecedented NIS 30 billion budget for a month-and-a-half, which meets the needs of the war,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

“The budget will fully meet the defensive and offensive needs of the IDF; look after the families of the hostages, the wounded, the fallen and those who have been murdered, as well as evacuated families in hotels and guest houses; and ensure that the Israeli economy will continue to work and prosper.”

“The budget will support reservists, the Tekuma Authority for the rehabilitation of the communities, businesses that have been hurt and emergency squads as well as the health, social welfare and education needs of all citizens of Israel,” the statement said.

“The coalition funds have already been cut by over 70%, NIS 1.6 billion, and what remains is designated for civic needs such as teachers' salaries and not any political use. The political debate is over 1% of the overall budget,” it continued.

“The budget is large and significant because the Israeli economy is stable and strong.”

The announcement came after Gantz demanded that Monday’s scheduled cabinet meeting be cancelled.

In a letter he sent to Netanyahu, Gantz wrote, "A cabinet meeting is due to be held to deal with, among others, updating the budget frameworks for the 2023 fiscal year and beyond, including the transfer of coalition funds and diverting large amounts for various expenses that are not related to the war or to growth."

Gantz criticized Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and said, "My party and I will oppose the distribution of coalition funds or any additional budget that is not related to the war effort or promotes economic growth. Transferring coalition funds and funds to ministerial uses that are not related to the war, as the Minister of Finance wishes to promote these days, will harm Israeli resilience and the existing cohesion in Israeli society."

"I repeat my demand to divert all possible coalition resources and funds that have not yet been used up for the 2023 fiscal year and, accordingly, also for the 2024 year, immediately to all needs of the war."

Gantz also threatened that "if the meeting takes place and the budget remains intact, the National Unity Party will vote against the proposed budget and will consider its next steps."