11:06 GMT27 September 2020
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    The military has been forced to make tough choices on which programmes should be slashed in order to keep others, while the country's powerful spy agency has seemingly ignored the issue of its extensive spending.

    The latest report of the Israeli State Comptroller unveiled some rare insights into the operations of the country's secretive Mossad agency, specifically showing that it went well beyond the boundaries of its budget limits, with spending in recent years reaching 2.6 billion NIS ($763 million), as opposed to the set ceiling of 1.5 billion ($440 million).

    The agency's director, Yossi Cohen, didn't deny knowing that the Mossad has been demanding more than the budget is ready to give it, saying at the High Command meeting that he is "pondering the dilemma of the need to do more". Cohen also admitted that the agency's financial needs have expanded as other security agencies' and even the military's needs are denied, but defended that approach by citing the unique situation that Israel and the Mossad are in.

    "We are going in the opposite direction and in contrast to the global trend where fewer employees are needed; with the Mossad, it is the opposite", Cohen said.

    The situation is a major shift for the agency as, when Cohen first entered office, the Mossad regularly ended a year without even spending all of its funds, with the new director urging the agency to move in a different direction.

    The news of the Mossad's exorbitant spending also comes as the Israel Defence Forces are struggling to cope with budgetary cutbacks. As a result, the military has been forced to abandon some of its ambitious weapon and equipment projects to sustain the ongoing ones amid shrinking funds allocated by the government.

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    Tags:
    Budget, spending, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), IDF, Mossad
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