[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
Gas mask stations around Israel are busier today, Thursday, 23 Elul 5773 than on Wednesday. In Haifa for example, thousands of anxious citizens were on line in the morning ahead of the 08:00 opening. The same was reported in Tel Aviv, and the situation in the Shmuel HaNavi are of Yerushalayim is not much better. Some stations will remain open until 19:00 today to accommodate the crowd.
The scene at all of the stations is one of frustration and anger. Citizens feel that the Homefront Command is failing in its mission to provide protection kits to citizens. When asked why they did not get the masks during recent years, most residents explain they wait to the last moment because as the children grow their size changes and they must return to have them refitted in any event.
Some experts feel that the fact the IDF has not opened additional distribution centers is a sign that the experts are not really concerned. Others strongly disagree with this and posit the lack of distribution centers is the result of malfeasance and has no bearing on the situation assessment.
When asked to comment, IDF officials report they are not planning to open additional distribution centers. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon released another statement of calm, telling citizens there is no reason for panic.
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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos Chezki Katzklovitz, Chadashot 24)