Israel to stop gas mask distribution to public

Jerusalem, Jan 20: Israel’s security cabinet decided Sunday to end its policy of distributing gas masks to the public from next month, in a move expressing trust in the dismantle process of Syrian chemical stockpiles.

The decision was made “in light of the security establishment ‘s assessment that there has been a significant decline in the threat of chemical weapons being fired at Israel”, Xinhua quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying in a statement.

After next month, the production of kits will continue on a limited basis but will not be distributed. They will be for use by rescue forces only, the statement said.

The decision will be reviewed by the end of the year following an additional assessment by Israel’s security establishment.

The policy of equipping the population with anti-gas kits began in the 1991 Gulf War, when Scud missiles hit Tel Aviv and the country feared of an Iraqi chemical attack.