Israelis queue for gas masks over Syria war fears

Israelis queue for gas masks over Syria war fears
Wed Aug 28, 2013 22:21:03

Thousands of Israelis have lined up for gas masks or ordering them by phone, spurred on by fears that any Western military strike on Syria could ensnare the Israeli regime in war.

Western powers are considering military action to punish the Syrian government for an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds near Damascus last week, although the UN inspectors have not yet confirmed the allegation against Syria.

With speculation mounting that NATO powers might fire cruise missiles into Syria, many Israelis worry that Syria could strike out at the Israeli regime in retaliation.

Israeli media reports of Syrian officials threatening retaliation against Israel for any Western strike have only served to heighten the anxiety.

Maya Avishai, spokeswoman for the Israeli Postal Service which oversees the distribution of gas masks on behalf of the military's home front command, said four times as many people as usual had phoned in orders in the past two days.

According to media reports, only 60% of Israelis have gas masks, and the government has not yet found a budget solution for the manufacture of gas masks for the entire population. The Knesset Committee for Home Front Preparedness is scheduled to discuss the issue.


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