Government Refuses to Fortify Sderot, Fears Setting Precedent

The government told the High Court it has not fortified Sderot buildings because it would set a precedent if other cities will be attacked.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Kassam exploding in Sderot
Kassam exploding in Sderot

While dozens of Kassam rockets rained down on Sderot and other western Negev communities Wednesday morning, the state prosecution told the Supreme Court it does not want to reinforce buildings in the besieged city.

State Prosecution attorney Dina Silber said fortification of Sderot homes would "constitute a significant precedent affecting homes in numerous other parts of the country, which are or soon will be subject to rocket fire."

"The state cannot afford to work under the false impression that this policy would apply only to the Sderot area," Silber argued. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said last month that some NIS 50 million would be allocated in January 2008 to "enhance the resilience of the residents of communities bordering on the Gaza Strip." At the time, Olmert said the money would be used to fortify houses and public buildings, according to Haaretz

The state prosecution recommended instead that residents of the western Negev build up their stamina in the face of the attacks. "Their endurance, and not reinforcement of houses, is the main feature of the issue at hand," she said. "Reinforcement is only one element in the protection of the Home Front against rocket fire."

The government is fighting a petition by 30 Sderot residents who are demanding the court to order it to fortify 800 homes in the city against the constant rocket attacks.