OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s war with Hamas group in the Gaza Strip will cost as much as 200 billion shekels ($51 billion), the Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Sunday, citing preliminary Finance Ministry figures.

The daily said that the estimate, equal to 10% of gross domestic product, was premised on the war lasting between eight to 12 months; on it being limited to Gaza, without full participation by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iran or Yemen; and on some 350,000 Israelis drafted as military reservists returning to work soon.

Calcalist described the ministry as deeming 200 billion shekels an “optimistic” estimate. But the ministry said it does not stand by Calcalist’s data.

Hamas launched the deadliest attack on Israel in the country’s history on October 7 and Israel has since bombarded Gaza with the goal of eliminating the group. Calcalist said that half of the cost would be in defence expenses that amount to some 1 billion shekels a day.

Another 40-60 billion shekels would come from a loss of revenue, 17-20 billion for compensation for businesses and 10-20 billion shekels for rehabilitation.

Netanyahu says Israel making ‘systematic progress’ in Gaza war

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has previously said Israel’s government was preparing an economic aid package for those impacted by Palestinian attacks that will be “bigger and broader” than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the state was committed to helping everyone affected. “My directive is clear: Open the taps and channel funds to whoever needs them,” he said without giving figures.

“Just like we did during COVID. In the past decade, we have built here a very strong economy and even if the war exacts economic prices from us, as it is doing, we will pay them without hesitation.”

In the wake of the war, S&P cut its outlook for Israel’s rating to “negative”, while Moody’s and Fitch put Israel’s ratings on review for possible downgrade.

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Johnny Walker Nov 05, 2023 04:20pm
The USA and UK, EU etc will pay for it. The Israeli's are smart enough to make them pay.
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Pakistani1 Nov 05, 2023 04:37pm
It has already cost life to over 8000 Palestinians including several thousand children. That is not important it seems?
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