Southern communities petition High Court for protection

Heads of communities surrounding the Gaza Strip demand gov't deploy the Iron Dome defense system, complete construction of protected rooms.

November 1, 2010 09:25
1 minute read.
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant holds a rocke

Kassam cradled by terrorist 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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Residents of communities surrounding the Gaza Strip will petition the High Court on Monday in an effort to reach a ruling which would require the government to protect and shield the region from threats posed by Palestinian terrorists.

According to the residents, they were informed that there is "no chance" the defense establishment will deploy the Iron Dome missile defense system to their communities in the coming years.

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Four of the regional authorities participating in the petition will demand the court issue an order which will hold the government accountable to protect the communities by deploying the Iron Dome system or by completing the construction of an additional 2,500 reinforced rooms within homes in the threatened region.

Representatives of 24 communities from the Eshkol, Sha'ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon regional councils will demand the government follow through with its February 2008 decision to protect their communities.

According to the 2008 decision, all communities located four-and-a-half kilometers from the border with Gaza will be protected from rocket fire by the Iron Dome system. It was also decided that, according to the operational capabilities of the system, communities located closer than four-and-a-half kilometers from Gaza will be reinforced with to-be-constructed protected rooms. However, after Iron Dome was tested, it was discovered that the system is not capable of intercepting rockets in the range of four-and-a-half kilometers or less.

Heads of the communities argue that, according to the legal definition, communities around the Strip are within a seven kilometer range from the border. Since the government decision, the heads of the communities said that they were told that Iron Dome will not be deployed in the mentioned communities in the coming years. Kindergartens, residents' homes, and public buildings in many of the communities are currently exposed and unprotected.

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