Just before the Knesset votes to dissolve itself and call new elections, the Finance Committee approved an additional 2.1 billion shekels ($530 million) for defense. The MKs form the coalition voted in favor, as did two Haredi MKs: Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) and Yitzhak Cohen (Shas).

The discussion was quite lively. In addition to across-the-board cuts in various ministries in favor of the defense budget, the committee was asked to quickly approve on Monday morning a budgetary transfer of 106 million shekels ($26.7 million) to the World Zionist Organization’s settlement division, as well as another 80 million shekels to the settlements themselves. Last Wednesday, the Finance Ministry asked to transfer another 20 million shekels to the WZO settlement division.

Yesh Atid officials called the attempt to pass the allocation “election bribery,” and having been conducted in the “dark of night.” […]