Missile alert

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September 12, 2012 12:00
Gas masks

Gas masks 521. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Three o’clock On a late summer afternoon at Hadar Mall in Jerusalem, on the last day of the current round of gas mask distribution. Hundreds of people are milling around a storefront piled high with gas masks, and the air is thick with frustration.

Menucha Halperin, a 58-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three, says she arrived at the distribution center before noon, took number 1265 in the line, and set off to do some shopping. Three and a half hours later she’s back, only to find there are still several hundred more people before her. She calls her daughter to say she won’t be able to pick up her granddaughter from kindergarten, estimating it’ll take another hour and a half – five hours in total – to exchange the outdated gas masks she’s been storing in her house since the mid-1990s.


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