The Government of Israel has announced changes to the 2023 budget, presented by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

These adjustments are primarily aimed at strengthening the country’s war effort. According to Smotrich, NIS 17 billion (about $4.5 billion) has been redirected toward defense, and another NIS 13.5 billion (about $3.6 billion) will go toward civilian war needs.

Among the emergency measures, the budget amendment includes the allocation of NIS 3.5 billion (about $930 million) to finance hotel stays for more than 100,000 Israelis evacuated from border communities in the south and north of Israel.

In addition, NIS 2 billion ($530 million) will be allocated to the Ministry of National Security. This fund will be used to create and arm community defense teams, as well as to arm the police.

In a relevant twist, a White House spokesperson reported in early November that Israel had committed to the US not to use US-origin weapons to arm community defense teams in east Jerusalem.