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    Israeli soldiers | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2015

The numbers were boosted by last year's Operation Protective Edge which killed over 2,000 people.

Israeli officials revealed Thursday that Tel-Aviv spent US$3.6 billion dollars in defense purchases over 2014, the highest amount registered ever.

The new numbers represent a 6.9 percent increase, the biggest since 2006. Most of the defense purchases were made from factories and companies situated inside Israel.

“The entire time, we made sure that we kept a maximum number of acquisition deals within the State of Israel, to ensure that every shekel given to us for acquisitions is invested in Israeli industry, and not exported for foreign acquisitions,” explained Shmuel Tzuke, head of the army administration, during a press conference.

RELATED: 30 Palestinian Children Killed by Israel Army in 2015

Tzuke also explained the reason for the record growth in the purchases is related to last year's 50-day Operation Protective Edge, launched by Tel-Aviv against Gaza. The operation killed over 2,000 Gazans.

Not only were weapons purchased for the operation but in the aftermath, the Israeli army replenished their stockpiles.

Furthermore, in February this year the Israeli government bought 14 new F-35 jets to the United States, at a cost of US$100 million each.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his support for a major increase in the 2016 defense budget, as he made clear to his finance ministry in recent discussions preparing the 2015-2016 budget.

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