‘Money for making gas masks running out’

Production of gas masks for public will come to end if government does not allocate more than NIS 1 billion, defense officials warn.

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October 7, 2011 03:55
1 minute read.
Or Yehuda residents receive new chemical and biolo

gas mask distribution 311 ron friedman. (photo credit: ron friedman)

 
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The production of gas masks for the public will come to an end by the end of the year if the government does not allocate more than NIS 1 billion to keep the production line open, defense officials warned on Thursday.

Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i is spearheading the talks with the Treasury, in an effort to obtain the budget required to keep the production line open. An estimated NIS 1.3b. is required and Vilna’i is working to create a multi-year plan to spread the budget over a number of years.

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“If production stops then it will cost more money and take more time to reopen the line and resume mass production,” a senior defense official said.

The IDF Home Front Command has manufactured enough gas masks for just over 50 percent of the population.

Gas masks are distributed to the public by the Postal Company, which won a tender in 2009. With the current budget, officials warned, the Home Front Command will only be able to supply 60% of the public with masks by the end of the year.

OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eizenberg recently sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak warning of the consequences of the gas mask production line shutting down.

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