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Israel’s military spending drops for first time since 2009

Israel’s spending on defense is now second to Saudi Arabia in Middle East

Israeli military exercise, Aug. 17, 2022 (Photo: IDF/Flickr)

Israel’s military spending dropped in 2022 for the first time since 2009, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The report found that Israel fell from 14th to 15th place in worldwide defense budget spending against a worldwide trend in increased spending.

Israel invested $23.4 billion in defense in 2022, a 4.2% drop compared to the previous year. When evaluating spending as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product, Israel ranks in 10th place.

In the Middle East, Israel ranks second to Saudi Arabia in its military spending

The region generally saw a drop in defense spending, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Iran, which could be attributed to an increase in normalization in the region over the previous two years.

There has reportedly been a drop in defense spending among nations who are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council following the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration in 2021, and the historic Abraham Accords in 2020.

However, the Middle East still had the highest military burden, with defense spending making up 3.9% of GDP on average.

According to a senior researcher in SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program, the Middle East’s high burden is a result of regional conflicts.

“Even if relations improve and the conflicts come to an end, it is very likely that a change in military burden would still take some time to take place,” said SIPRI Senior Researcher Diego Lopes da Silva. “As a result, the Middle East will likely remain the region with the highest average military burden in 2023.”

Europe saw the largest increase in defense spending in 2022, at 13%, largely due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year. Predictably, defense spending by both Russia and Ukraine rose significantly in the same year, with Ukraine jumping from 36th to 11th position.

SIPRI has released annual reports on worldwide military spending for several years, with the years 2015-2022 available online.

Read more: IDF

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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