Sderot businesses to be retroactively compensated

Compensation to apply to losses incurred since November 2006, and not 2005 as was originally proposed.

Sderot business 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Sderot business 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Sderot businesses will receive compensation for financial losses dating back to November 2006, according to a new agreement reached in the Knesset House Committee Monday. Finance Ministry officials and MKs spent hours debating a bill that would grant businesses compensation for both direct and indirect damage from rocket attacks. While the state currently pays to rebuild businesses that have been hit by rockets, they do not compensate business owners for indirect losses, such as profit loss during the rebuilding period. "This bill will take a huge step forward in giving the residents of Sderot the type of compensation that they have deserved for years," said MK Shai Hermesh (Kadima). Opposition MKs succeeded in passing a first reading on the bill last month. In its original wording, the bill would give Sderot businesses funds for damages dating back to 2005. On Monday, the Finance Ministry threatened to torpedo the bill because it would cost the state too much and leave the door open for a number of other front-line communities to file retroactive damage claims. "The Finance Ministry felt that pushing the date back as far as 2005 would open the door for communities in the North to claim retroactive damages from the Second Lebanon War. The date we settled on was a good compromise," said Hermesh. He added that November 2006 was also the approximate month in which rocket attacks increased from two or three to several dozen a day. The bill will still need to pass through the Knesset Finance Committee and return to the plenum for a second and third reading. It currently has the support of the Finance Ministry, opposition and coalition MKs, making it highly likely that it will pass quickly. Hermesh estimates that the bill will cost the state upwards of NIS 400 million.