Despite concern the country could come under a chemical attack due to the growing instability in Syria, the IDF Home Front Command plans to suspend distribution of gas masks to the public in two months due to a government refusal to allocate funds necessary to continue their production.
Currently, 3.5 million citizens have received new gas masks under the IDF’s distribution program, which began in 2006 with the collection of the public’s old gas masks.
Behind the shortage is a disagreement between the Defense Ministry and the Treasury over where the funding for the continued refurbishment and distribution of the masks will come from. The Defense Ministry has asked for a budget supplement while the Treasury has argued the money should come from the regular defense budget.
A senior Home Front Command officer told The Jerusalem Post on Monday the distribution would come to an end in February after the remaining budget ended.