Israel counts cost of war: €60m spent so far could rise to €800m

Mon, Nov 19, 2012, 00:00

The last five days of fighting in the Gaza Strip have so far cost Israel €50 million-€60 million.

Initial estimates indicate that a week of similar combat would cost €80 million-€90 million.

If a ground assault is launched in Gaza, the cost may reach €600 million-€800 million.

The cost will depend on the length of the operation, the number of reservists called up and the types of units participating in the operation.

A day of combat in Gaza, based on aerial activities and usage of the iron dome anti-rocket defence batteries, costs €10 million-€14 million. An expanded call-up of reserves and a ground assault would increase the daily cost to €30 million-€40 million.

The cost of an iron dome battery is €150 million, five have now been deployed and the army wants to eventually deploy 13.

Each iron dome missile costs about €47,000. (In comparison the rockets launched from Gaza cost a few hundred euro each to manufacture.)

The cost of a single sortie by an advanced combat aircraft is estimated at €100,000- €150,000.

The usage of unmanned aerial vehicles is costly at €2,000 per hour of flight. The cost of one hour of combat helicopter usage is €20,000.

The most costly aspect of the war is the call-up of reservists. One reserve soldier costs the defence force €200 per day. This means the call-up of 16,000 reserve soldiers (the number already called up), costs €22.4 million per week, and 75,000 reservists (the number being considered) would cost the country €105 million per week.

The civilian cost of the war, including rebuilding infrastructure, compensation for employees absent from their jobs due to the war, and compensation for factories unable to operate during the war, may reach €200 million, depending on the damage to property and infrastructure.