The defense establishment's concerns about the potential threat of chemical weapons from Syria and Hezbollah has not gone unnoticed by the Israeli public.
The Israel Postal Serivce reported Wednesday that more Israelis are updating their gas masks and ABC kits. In fact, the number of Israelis changing their nonconventional warfare protection kits has nearly tripled over the past month.
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The public demand can be attributed to recent upheaval in Syria and the alarming possibility that the regime's arsenal of nonconventional weapons may find its way to Hezbollah, as was implied by IAF Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel Tuesday. "Syria is undergoing tectonic changes. Given its massive arsenals, Israel may find itself dealing with nonconventional weapons on its borders," Eshel said.
ABC (atomic, biological, and chemical) kits have been distributed in Israel since Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when Iraqi Scud missiles hit the greater Tel Aviv area.
The kits contain a gas mask and atropine pens, which are periodically updated according to their respective expiration dates.
According to the company, over 4,000 kits were distributed this week alone, and over 4.5 million have been picked up since the beginning of the latest distribution round.
The Postal Service said that the company's reservation line has been flooded by calls from concerned citizens and that the number of daily orders has spiked from an average of 200 a day to 500 a day.
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