Israeli lawmakers approve amended war budget for 2024 in initial vote

Israel's parliament lit in yellow to support the hostages, in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's parliament gave its initial approval to an amended 2024 state budget that adds tens of billions of shekels to fund Israel's war against Hamas, with higher defence spending and compensation to households and businesses hurt by the conflict.

Lawmakers voted 57-50 to approve the spending package of 584 billion shekels ($159 billion), or 724 billion including debt repayment, according to a statement by the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

The budget now heads for debate in parliament's finance committee, where it may undergo adjustments ahead of its second and third votes expected later this month. The budget needs to pass three votes to become law.

($1 = 3.6654 shekels)

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)