Court to judge Sderot compensation

The compensation package is based on recommendations formulated by an interministerial committee.

Sderot business 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Sderot business 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On on Tuesday presented the High Court of Justice with a plan for compensating business owners in Sderot and the Gaza Strip periphery for losses caused by Palestinian rocket attacks. The compensation package is based on recommendations formulated by an interministerial committee, which was charged with helping communities classified as border settlements, including Sderot and the Gaza Strip periphery. Under the terms of the compensation package, which will be instituted retroactively from last May, business owners in the specified areas will be entitled to claim compensation for damages according to a three-track system. The "red" track entitles businesses to file compensation claims for direct damages resulting from loss of work salaries by residents who could not come to work because of the security situation. Compensation payments on this track will not be made dependent on a certain time frame during which factories were closed or production was halted. The compensation package includes two new "green" tracks. The first is designated to compensate for a downturn in business volume of trade and reductions in saved expenses. The second, or current expenses track, compensates employers for operational losses. Maximal amount of compensation on the green tracks will be limited to NIS 3 million a year. On the red track there is no maximum ceiling on the amount of compensation that can be claimed. The Israel Tax Authority will be handling the compensation requests filed by business owners in Sderot and the Gaza Strip periphery. Compensation claims filed on the green track will be handled within 14 days; compensation will be paid within seven days. Compensation claims on the red track will be handled and paid out within 60 days from the date the claim was filed. Kassam rocket attacks have forced increasing numbers of factories in the Sderot region to temporarily scale back or completely shut down operations. On February 17, dozens of angry Sderot merchants protested after the High Court of Justice failed to hand down a final verdict on their petition demanding compensation for the losses in income they have suffered as a result of terrorist rocket attacks. The petitioners complained that since a provisional law granting compensation for damages caused by the terrorist attacks expired in August, they had not received any compensation for the past seven months.