State to Compensate Businesses Damaged in Southern Attacks

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Kassem rocket. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The state will compensate businesses harmed by the recent round of missile attacks in the Negev tens of millions of shekels. A study by Lahav, an independent business group, said that more than 20,000 businesses in the Negev have lined up seeking compensation for lost business or damages – and the claims are likely to cost the state over NIS 60 million for each day of the attacks.

The estimate was based on the declaration earlier last week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of a “special situation” in areas within a 40-kilometer radius of the Gaza border. Businesses in this area are eligible for a grant of NIS 3,000 for operating in a “danger zone.” The declaration was made on Sunday and was lifted Tuesday, when “understandings” between Israel and Hamas came into effect ending the rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists. From the beginning of the attacks until the following Monday, Gaza terrorists had fired some 700 rockets at Israeli targets.

“The state must realize that a state of war in the south is not an extraordinary situation but an inseparable part of the daily lives of residents there,” Ro’i Cohen, head of the Lahav group, told Yisrael Hayom. “It is not by chance that the rate of closure of businesses in the south is higher than in the center of the country. I respect and value the efforts of the Finance Ministry and Knesset Finance Committee to assist businesses, but unfortunately the compensation offered businesses is usually less than the amount of damages they sustain.”