04/07/2010, 00.00
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Anti-biochemical warfare kits and gas masks handed out in Israel

by Joshua Lapide
Defence Ministry makes the announcement after Iran makes more threats against Israel. Tensions are rising in view of possible attacks against Iran.
Tel Aviv (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Israel has begun handing out millions of protection kits against biochemical warfare, Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai announced, stressing the move is not linked to any imminent threat. However, many in Israel believe the campaign is in preparation of a possible attack against Iran,

"Every family in Israel can receive these kits at home and be instructed on how to use them by Israeli postal workers, at an average cost of 25 shekels (US$ 5), or pick them up free of charge at post office counters,” Israeli army radio quoted Vilnai as saying.

The distribution of protection kits comes a few hours after Iran made further threats against Israel. Mojtaba Zolnoor (pictured), an aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said yesterday, “If the enemy takes its chance and fires a missile towards Iran, the dust from an Iranian missile strike will rise in the heart of Tel Aviv even before the dust from the enemy attack settles.”

In Israel Zolnoor’s statement is viewed as all an act, but local analysts contacted by AsiaNews said that tensions are rising in the country, leading some to believe that an attack against Iran will be carried out in the next few months.

The Israeli government decided on January 5 to distribute eight million new gas masks, one for each citizen, and has already distributed gas masks to 70,000 residents of Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv in February.

Gas masks were distributed to Israel’s population during the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait over fears of possible chemical attacks from Iraq.

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