'Gas masks distribution a failure'

IDF Home Front Command head tells citizens to buy their own masks.

July 4, 2010 19:44
1 minute read.
Pupils at a Jerusalem school don gas masks as part

gas mask exercise 311 aj [file]. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

The distribution of gas masks to the general population has been a failure, the head of the IDF Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said on Sunday at an event at the Institute for National Security Studies.

"Today, in comparison with secured protective rooms, there is not a budget in place that covers distribution of the gas masks to the entire population," said.

Home Front to boost stairwells in homes lacking bomb shelter

Golan expected that the government would only be able to provide up to 70 percent of the population with gas masks that are to be used in the event of a major attack with unconventional weapons, as the Post reported in May.

Golan encouraged citizens without gas masks to go out and buy their own. "Sometimes it falls upon the citizen [to protect themselves] and not the state," he said.

In the meantime, the IDF Home Front Command has prioritized distribution of the masks to first responders and service providers who will have to provide assistance to others hurt during any future attack.

The Jerusalem Post learned last month that the IDF Home Front Command was working on a plan to develop a special siren for non-conventional missiles that would sound in the event of a chemical or biological attack.

The possibility of using two different sirens during a future conflict – one for conventional missiles and the other for missiles carrying non-conventional warheads – came up during the nationwide civil defense exercise that was held in May called Turning Point 4.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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