Chairman of Meretz MK Yossi Beilin filed a petition to the High Court of Justice Tuesday against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's failure to officially declare the war in Lebanon, thus preventing northern residents from being able to collect compensation for war damages according to the law.
Beilin demanded that the court order the Olmert government to declare a state of emergency.
According the Beilin, the government was shirking its duty of orderly management and its financial obligation to reimburse households negatively affected by the war.
Beilin added that the government did not even discuss such a declaration of war, and no such message was delivered to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Likewise, no announcement of war was made at the Knesset plenum, in violation of Clause 40 of the Basic Law. According to the minister, as a repercussion of the failure to declare war, civilians in the north would not be compensated for direct and indirect war damages.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Quality Government approached the prime minister and defense minister demanding they declare a national crisis situation, to allow for the even distribution of the financial burden effected by the fighting in the north.
The movement noted that, “As long as no state of emergency is declared and northern residents are not being compensated for war damages, then in effect, the solidarity is not being translated into deeds.”
Farmers: More blasts mean less eggs
Among those suffering damages from the fighting are the northern farmers, who say the animals are terrified by the incessant blasts and as a result hens are laying eggs with an extremely brittle shell and cows are giving less milk. As well, many Thai laborers employed by the farmers fled south so the fruit is rotting on the trees.
In addition to the farmlands, the Galilee and Golan region is home to some 30,000 heads of cattle. The most significant damage incurred by cattle farmers are the fires sparked by Katyusha hits which have burned thousands of acres of grazing land.
Director General of the cattle-raisers union, Haim Dayan, said, “We have no doubt that severe damages were caused. We don’t know yet the exact extent of the damage because it’s too early and we can’t walk around to examine the damages.”
The fighting in the north caught cattle farmers at the height of the foaling season. Dayan said that as a result of the ceaseless shooting, by both the IDF and Hizbullah, cows miscarried at a significantly higher rate.
In addition, farmers cannot reach their farms regularly to supervise the foaling. According to a crude accounting calculation, Dayan estimated that northern cattle farmers have lost roughly NIS 20 million thus far.