The Israeli Radio reported on Wednesday that the Israeli Authorities decided to distribute gas-masks among the population in Israel starting in 2009. The step, the radio said, comes as a preventive measures in case of unconventional weapons attack the country. The Radio added that the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnaey, first proposed the initiative during a closed security cabinet session headed by Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

Israeli Army spokesperson stated during an interview with a French press agency that so far the government did not issue any official order to distribute the masks, while security emergency officials called on the residents not to be concerned since this order is a technical one and has no relation with the current security situation in the area.

Israeli officials repeatedly said in their frequent speeches that Israel is not threat-free from “possible attacks carried by Syria or Iran”.

In late 1990, Israel distributed gasmasks on the residents after the Iraqi Army, headed by the then-president Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait.

The Iraqi army then fired dozens of Scud Missiles at Israel in the period between January 15 and the end of February. 

By the end of 2006, Israel started collecting the old masks from the residents in order to check them out and change their filters.

The Israeli Civil Defense Agency is expected to perform a comprehensive training next week in order to “test its readiness for possible attacks”.

Palestinians under Israeli military occupation, however, will not be issued any gas masks.