Occupied Jerusalem- Military procurement expenses for the Israeli army during the war on Gaza jumped by 1000%; The average spending per month on equipment, ammunition, missiles and bombs amounted to about 12 billion shekels ($3.3 billion), which is the amount equivalent to the annual budget of the occupation army allocated for military purchases.
According to data from the Israeli Ministry of Security, approximately 200 local military companies support my project.Merkava” And”Tiger-NMRThe Ministry also deals with 26,000 local and international suppliers within its records, while the Ministry’s Purchasing and Production Department mobilized about 8,000 local suppliers during the war, in order to ensure supplies for the army.
These official data, regarding procurement expenses for ammunition and military equipment, were revealed through a comprehensive dialogue conducted by the economic attaché of the newspaper “Yedioth Ahronoth” with the head of the Procurement and Production Department of the Ministry of Defense, Ze’ev Landau, who assumed his position shortly before the start of “Al-Aqsa floodIn October 2023.
Obsessed with lack of ammunition
Landau spoke about the economic importance of procurement expenditures For the Israeli army During the war on Gaza, he touched on the shortage of basic equipment for the reserve forces, and the situation of military equipment stocks in army warehouses on the eve of the war, noting that “the situation in the warehouses was not ideal and not sufficient for a long-term war.”
The Israeli official indicated that he is concerned about the consequences of a decrease in the stock of weapons and ammunition in army warehouses, if the war continues for a long period, or if a comprehensive confrontation breaks out on the northern front with Hezbollah.
The head of the Purchasing and Production Department at the Ministry of Security confirmed that “had it not been for American support and the supply of the necessary weapons and filling the shortages during the course of the war, the military situation of the army would have been extremely difficult.”
To address this shortage in army warehouses, Landau revealed the presence of crews from the Ministry of Security traveling around the world to purchase weapons and ammunition for the war on Gaza. He pointed out that these crews face many difficulties in concluding deals, and attributed this to the requirement of some international companies and countries to conclude deals. And Israel sells weapons on the condition that they are not used against civilians and innocent people.
Dependence on America
Landau acknowledged that the war on Gaza demonstrated the extent of Israel's dependence, dependence, and almost complete dependence on what he described as “the good intentions and policies of the White House” and air weapons shipments coming from America. According to estimates, Washington has sent more than 230 cargo planes and 20 ships loaded with weapons to Israel since the start of the war.
According to the pace of the arrival of American transport planes and ships loaded with military equipment to Israel, Landau says, “The condition of stocks in army warehouses has improved, which was not ideal on the eve of the war, to say the least, within the Israeli security assumption that Hamas is deterred and a long and severe war is not expected to break out.”
Regarding the airlift of military equipment that arrived from Washington since the first day of the war, Landau says, “It created a difficult feeling among the Israeli public that the army relied heavily on America, and did not possess sufficient supplies of vital weapons. We were and will remain dependent on the Americans. There are things that we buy from them.” With aid money, such as aircraft and vehicles, but this reality must change.”
Excessive use of weapons
Landau recalled the state comptroller’s report in 2007, which warned of a shortage of military equipment and equipment in army warehouses, warning of the closure of ammunition production lines for years, and that the institution must decide and identify the production lines necessary for it, and maintain and support them.
Therefore, it is not surprising, according to Landau, that “the Israeli army has recently been talking about the economy of armaments, and the economy in the use of ammunition and missiles, in order to provide ammunition to the northern front in the event that a comprehensive confrontation breaks out.”
The head of the Procurement and Production Department at the Ministry of Security pointed out that the army went too far in using ammunition and missiles with the start of the war, saying, “In the first week of the war alone, the Air Force dropped about 6,000 bombs on Gaza,” which is a huge number equivalent to the amount of bombs used by the US Air Force for a year. All over Afghanistan.
Who does the Israeli army depend on?
According to Landau's point of view, the major challenge facing the Ministry of Security is “to reduce the army's dependence on purchasing ammunition as much as possible from abroad, especially from America, in exchange for expanding local production lines and strengthening military and defense industries.”
He also says, “Through experience in the war, and drawing lessons from everything related to the state of the army’s military depots, our goal for the next day is to achieve independence mainly in the field of air armament and aircraft bombs, which were completely purchased from America, and it will take two or three years to reach the state of independence.” Preparation, so that we do not depend on external sources for armament.”
The head of the Ministry of Security’s Procurement and Production Department adds, “One of the things we are trying to build with the defense industries is a mechanism to maintain the minimum orders that we will need over time, to maintain a production line that will be economical and independent, and enable the army to make intensive use of ammunition and weapons for two years without any shortage.” “.
It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the war, the Israeli civilian public provided the reserve soldiers with donations, from underwear and socks to helmets and ceramic jackets, but Landau does not consider this a failure of the army’s procurement department, and attributed this to an increase in recruitment for the reserve forces, saying, “There was never such a number of the army.” In any previous war, civilian aid came accordingly.”
Month to year
The army's procurement budget in normal times is about 12 billion shekels ($3.3 billion) per year, but Landau says, “Since the beginning of the war, we have been witnessing an increase in military expenditures. In the first month, we spent a budget equivalent to the annual budget, and so spending continued at the same pace and value in the second month.” The third is also for war.”
Landau says, “Since October 7, we have purchased huge quantities of weapons from all over the world, so what was in the warehouses was not enough, and today we are still in the same predicament in terms of purchasing, but now we are going through a new phase, which is summed up by more maintenance and purchasing spare parts.” Spare parts and parts of equipment that wear out, and for tanks and equipment that were damaged and removed from the battle.”
He explains from his point of view how Israel reached a state of almost complete dependence on American ammunition, and what can be done to strive for the armed independence of the army, saying, “We draw lessons from what happened over the decades to the Israeli military and defense industry, as 80% of its production was allocated to the army.”
Therefore, Landau says, “We must keep the Israeli production lines for weapons and ammunition operating throughout the year, whether for the local market or increasing exports to global markets, and this is the challenge that the Israeli Ministry of Security faces today.”