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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

We're getting our gas masks back

The Israeli government will start distributing gas masks to the public at the end of February.
Originally, just over 60 percent of the population were to receive kits, but a decision to extend that protection to the whole country means the production of the necessary equipment has been stepped-up, and another billion shekels is needed to fund to the endeavor.

The plan is to distribute protective kits to each of the nearly eight million citizens (in line with a population estimate for 2013), over a period of three years.


Two years ago, during the Olmert government, a decision was made to redistribute the gas masks, but money for the project was scarce. The Home Front Command estimated it could only provide 60 percent of the population with working gas masks, and a decision was made to provide them to the citizens of the areas most likely to come under attack: the Dan region and northern Israel, among others.

The Israel Postal Company, the national postal service, won a Defense Ministry tender to distribute the kits directly to homes starting in late February.

However, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and MK Matan Vilnai, who is manages the Home Front, argued recently that the planned distribution program - 4.5 million kits in three years - fell short. Legal advisers pointed out that it would be difficult to defend a policy that did not account for the personal safety of all citizens equally.
I don't know why they think they have so much time to do this. What may end up happening - God forbid - is that there will be a mass emergency distribution when an attack looks imminent. But there is no reason this should take three years.

And there's no reason not to give them to the entire population. That's absurd. Half the country commutes into Tel Aviv every day anyway.

Read the whole thing.


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