Israel budget deficit spikes in November due to Gaza war expenses By Reuters

© Reuters. An Israeli soldier gestures while riding in a military vehicle, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel, December 9, 2023. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel posted a budget deficit of 16.6 billion shekels ($4.5 billion) in November, the Finance Ministry said on Sunday, citing a jump in expenses to fund Israel’s two-month old war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

As a percentage of GDP, the deficit over the prior 12 months rose to 3.4% in November from 2.6% in October, it said.

A ministry source said the deficit for 2023 would end around 4% of GDP.

The ministry noted that revenue fell 15.6% last month, partly due to tax deferments as a result of the war that began on Oct. 7.

Israel’s deficit in October was 22.9 billion shekels and in November 2022 it was 1.7 billion.

($1 = 3.7033 shekels)

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