Defense establishment weighs cancellation of further gas mask distribution

Cancellation would occur if IDF assesses risks of a possible chemical attack are negligible.

November 12, 2013 21:17
A child watches as gas masks are handed out at a center in Jerusalem, August 28, 2013.

Gas masks Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

The defense establishment is weighing the possibility of cancelling further distribution of gas masks to Israeli civilians, security sources said on Tuesday.

If it occurs, the cancellation would occur because of an assessment that the risks of a chemical attack are negligible, due to the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program.

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The final decision on whether to advise the government to cancel further distribution has not yet been taken, and is pending the completion research being carried out at IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Currently, there are enough masks for 60 percent of the population.

In late August, when it appeared as if the US was about to strike Syria, long lines formed to gas mask distribution centers around the country.

The demand for the masks created unruly scenes at some distribution centers, including a dispensary at the Hadar mall in Talpiot, Jerusalem, which was forced to shut six hours early on Wednesday after a disturbance broke out within the waiting crowd.

At the time, security sources estimated that the chances of a chemical weapon attack were very low.

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