Sderot residents lash out at state's request to reject court petition

Thirty Sderot residents who live in homes lacking concrete roofs have responded angrily to the state's request that the High Court reject their petition demanding that the government build secure rooms for them and all other residents living in about 800 tile-roofed houses in the beleaguered city. In its response to the petition, which was filed on September 12, 2007 the state informed the court it had approved the first stage of a plan to reinforce 3,200 housing units within a range of 4.5 kilometers from the Gaza border. Therefore, it said, the petition was no longer relevant. Yosef Pinhas Cohen, the spokesman for the Sderot municipal council who is leading the petition, charged that the government would only start building the secure rooms in 2009 and that the residents could not wait two years. "Our eyes read the state's response, but our heart refuses to believe the heartlessness it demonstrates," wrote Cohen. He asked the court to rule on the petition as quickly as possible.