Iron Dome
Iron DomeArutz Sheva: Rafael

The High Court of Justice has rejected a bid by communities in southern Israel to force the government to protect them with the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

The petition, submitted by the Eshkol Regional Council, demanded that the state be forced to deploy the anti-missile battery in its area.

The petition also demanded the court require the state to reinforce apartments in the district's communities.

To date, most Gaza Belt communities have been left without the protection of the system, with the exception of Sderot, located just four kilometers from Gaza.

The Iron Dome was first deployed around cities targeted by Gaza terrorists firing longer-range Grad Katyusha missiles, such as Be'er Sheva.

The panel of judges headed by  Cour President Dorit Beinisch determined the government's decision to delay deployment of the system in the Gaza Belt region was reasonable given the fact that not every community in the area could be covered by the system.

In addition, the judges cited in their decision the need to consider IDF military issues, the changing security situation, and budgetary matters.

Last week the IDF decided to redeploy the Iron Dome near Ashkelon after the city's mayor, Benny Vaknin, petitioned the Defense Ministry to return the battery after it had been removed during a lull in attacks.

Renewed rocket fire and the expectation of more to come in September – when the Palestinian Authority makes its unilateral bid for recognition as a new country at the United Nations – prompted the move.