Israeli parliament approves state budget


TEL AVIV, Sept. 18, 2019 (Xinhua) – Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz delivers a speech during a rally with supporters in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin’s main challenger Netanyahu Benny Gantz said on Wednesday morning that it is too early to declare a victory in the country’s parliamentary elections and called for a unity government. Early polls released by Israel’s three major TV channels showed Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party to have a slight lead over Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party in Tuesday’s vote, hurting Netanyahu’s chances of winning a fifth term record. (Photo by Gil Cohen Magen / Xinhua / IANS)

Tel Aviv, Sep 3 (IANS) Israel’s parliament approved the state budget in a preliminary vote years after two years of political stalemate.

Lawmakers on Thursday voted 59-54 in favor of the proposed budget, a spokesperson for Parliament, or Knesset, said in a statement.

The vote means the budget still has to pass two more rounds of votes before it gets final approval, reports the Xinhua News Agency.

According to a statement released earlier by the Ministry of Finance, the state budget for 2021 will be around 432.5 billion shekels ($ 135 billion) and around 452.5 billion shekels for 2022 (141 billions of dollars).

The approval is widely seen as a milestone for the all-party coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took over from the country’s longest-serving leader Benjamin Netanyahu in June.

The budget proposal was approved in early August by Bennett’s cabinet.

He will now go to discussions in a parliamentary committee, which will prepare him for the second and third rounds of voting in the Knesset plenum.

The budget must be approved by the Knesset before the November 5 deadline, otherwise Parliament will automatically be dissolved and new elections will be called.

In the past two years of political stalemate and four elections, Israel has used a version of the state budget for 2019, which was approved in March 2018.


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