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January 19, 2014 11:20 am

Israel to Halt Gas Mask Distribution Saying Chemical Weapons Threat Diminished

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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An IDF soldier showing a child how to put on a gas mask. Photo: IDF.

Israel’s Security Cabinet on Sunday decided to end the distribution of gas mask kits from next month, 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, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

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

A decision regarding equipping the population with kits in the coming years will be made following an additional security establishment assessment to be held by the end of the year, it said.

During 2013, demand for gas masks soared after chemical weapons were used by the neighboring regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A shortage in available masks at the time caused widespread chaos at handout centers.

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