Sderot lawsuit against Barak for choice of Iron Dome for rocket defense

Seventy residents of Sderot and the Gaza periphery filed a law-suite against Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem's District Court on Tuesday, demanding that the IDF immediately put into use the Nautilus - a laser cannon capable of intercepting short-range missiles - in the Sderot area. "Failing to use the cheap and available Nautilus system constitutes criminal negligence on the part of the government and the army," the plaintiffs said, asserting that the system could be put into use within six months, as opposed to the currently in development Iron Dome system, which will on be operational in several years. The Nautilus, they added, had been shown in tests to be capable of shooting down any projectile, as opposed to the Iron Dome, which could only shoot down rockets beginning at a certain range, and thus was ineffective against many of the Kassams and mortar shells. Development of the joint US-Israeli Nautilus project, later rechristened Skyguard, was suspended several years ago. Skyguard was one of the systems that was dismissed by the Defense Ministry committee that chose Iron Dome. Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.