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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Start making room in your closets, as gas masks are on their way back to your home. In January, the IDF Home Front Command will begin returning gas masks to the public after a two-year operation that included their collection and refurbishment.
Under the plan - drawn up by Col. Yossi Sagiv, head of the Home Front Command's Gas Mask and Protection Kits Department - the masks will be returned to people's homes by the Israel Postal Company, which beat out seven other companies in a Defense Ministry tender last week.
The distribution, Sagiv said on Tuesday, would likely take three years and will begin throughout the country in late January and according to operational considerations of which area is under a more immediate threat.
The Home Front Command began collecting the public's gas masks in 2007. It has collected 77 percent of the masks and will complete the collection when it begins the distribution. Members of the public will receive the same rubber gas mask that they had in the past, with an improved filter - more effective against various chemical and biological threats that Israel faces - but without the syringe of Atropine that was in the past kits.
Sagiv said that the entire project of collecting, refurbishing and distributing the gas masks is costing the state several hundred million shekels.
Under the plan, Postal Company representatives will contact homeowners and schedule a time to visit and deliver the gas masks required by the family. Each family will be asked to pay a nominal sum of under NIS 30. The courier will also help family members fit the masks and explain how to use them.