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Iran Press TV

Israel spy agencies budget grew 26% under Netanyahu: Report

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 3, 2013 2:48PM GMT

Israel intelligence services, the Mossad and Shin Bet, have seen a 26-percent increase in their budget under the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's term in office.

Figures released by Israel's Finance Ministry show that the Mossad and Shin Bet spent nearly a total of USD 1.63 billion (NIS 6.042 billion) in 2012, according to a Monday report by the Israeli Daily, Haaretz.

The unclassified data, which did not detailed the allocation of the funds between the two intelligence services or how the money was used, showed the two services also spent about USD 1.52 billion (NIS 5.63 billion) in 2011.

This is while in 2008, the last year Ehud Olmert served as Israel's prime minister, the total spending of the two secret services reached about USD 1.29 billion (NIS 4.78 billion).

These figures reflect a 26 percent increase in the annual budgets of the Mossad and Shin Bet over the four years of Netanyahu's term, based on actual spending figures, with the biggest increases taking place at 10 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively, in 2010 and 2011.

The money has been used by the Mossad to recruit operatives using fake passports to carry out assassination missions against Palestinians and in other countries.

Israel's Mossad and Shin Bet security services operate under the authority and supervision of the prime minister and not the defense minister.

According to the law, the budgets of the Shin Bet and Mossad are included under the framework of the general reserves in the state budget. They are described in the budgetary section as "an objective within the framework of the Prime Minister's Office," the report said.

PG/SS



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