Sderot Business Owners Thrown Out of Court for Insulting Judges, State

Entrepreneurs seeking Qassam damage compensation hurl insults after judge says state may take 3 weeks to process recommendations.

Sderot business owners were thrown out of the High Court of Justice on Sunday after they hurled insults at the judge and the state. The row broke out when judges handed down a ruling that the state could take three weeks to respond to a ministerial forum's recommendations on protecting business premises in the rocket-scarred southern city, and could not be forced to respond immediately.

The entrepreneurs' representative had demanded the High Court to force Finance Minister Roni Bar-On to implement measures to protect business owners' assets from damage caused by Qassam fire from Gaza immediately.

Upon hearing the judge's ruling, business owners attending the hearing yelled and cursed the judges and the state, and were ordered to leave the courtroom.

Last week, a special ministerial committee approved Bar-On's petition to extend the eligibility of communities affected by Gazan rocket fire for tax breaks and benefits. The extension was granted after residents demanded compensatory tax benefits for Gaza-adjacent towns equal to those granted to communities along Israel's northern frontier with Lebanon.

Bar-On's notice to the ministerial forum stressed that in light of continued rocket fire affecting communities adjacent to Gaza, including Sderot, the extension would be granted for ten days, until the end of February. The Finance Minister added that a panel had been instigated to assess which communities were eligible and the structure of benefits to be granted for damages.