Israel has approved a budget of some 5 billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to be used to prepare the military for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program, Channel 12 reported Monday, October 18.
Last month, Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi told the Walla news site that Israel has “greatly accelerated preparations for action against Iran’s nuclear program.” Kohavi said that “a significant chunk of the boost to the defense budget, as was recently agreed, was intended for this purpose. It’s a very complicated job, with much more intelligence, much more operational capabilities, and much more armaments. We’re working on all these things.”
The NIS 5 billion budget is made up of NIS 3 billion from the previous budget and an additional NIS 2 billion from the next budget slated to be approved by the far-right government in November. It includes funds for various types of aircraft, intelligence-gathering drones and unique armaments needed for such an attack, which would have to target heavily fortified underground sites, the unsourced report said.
The report comes days after the US Air Force announced that it had carried out a successful test of its new “bunker buster,” the GBU-72 Advanced 5K Penetrator. The 5,000-pound bomb could be used as a tool to strike Iranian nuclear sites. A smaller bunker buster bomb, the GBU-28, was secretly sold to Israel in 2009, though it is not thought to have the ability to penetrate Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility, which is buried deep under a mountain.
German Military Planes over Jerusalem
Israeli Air Force and German Luftwaffe aircraft performed a flyby over Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon, October 17, as a display of the close cooperation between the two countries and their militaries, a spokesperson for the Israeli army said.
This was the first time that German aircraft have flown over Jerusalem since World War I. The German Luftwaffe is currently participating in a multinational drill in Israel with the six other countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Greece and India.