Golan Heights Residents Calm Amid Chemical War Fears (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 07/25/12)
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Golan Heights residents near the Syrian border say “business is a
usual” despite the sound of nearby bombings. Residents deny reports
that officials have distributed gas masks.
The Newser news website reported Wednesday that “worried Israeli
officials are beginning to distribute new gas masks to residents
living close to the Syrian border” following Syria’s admission that
it has chemical weapons and will use them if a foreign force
intervenes in the raging civil war. Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman has warned that Israel will act “immediately” if the non-
conventional weapons reach Hizbullah terrorists.
A resident of the Alonei Bashan community, located only 800 meters
(half a mile) from the border, told Arutz Sheva Wednesday
morning, “Everyone is carrying on as usual, and children ride their
bicycles outside.” She expressed surprise at the report of gas mask
distribution, although there is a possibility that the IDF is making
them available to soldiers on the border.
She added, “There is no reason to be afraid. We have HaShem (the
Almighty) guarding us.”
Even before Syria’s admission to possessing chemical weapons, it was
widely known that Syrian President Bashar Assad has stockpiled the
largest chemical weapons arsenal in the world. The chemicals include
lethal nerve agents and can be dropped from planes or fired by
missiles and artillery.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week, "At the moment,
the entire non-conventional weapons system is under the full control
of the regime."
The rhetoric stoked demand in Israel for state-funded gas masks,
which have been distributed over the last few years as part of the
country´s wider preparations for a possible showdown over arch-foe
Iran´s disputed nuclear program, Reuters reported.
The Israel Postal Company, which distributes them for the military,
said 3,700 gas masks were handed out on Monday, up from the daily
average of 2,200, the news agency added.
"The increase was without a doubt connected to Syria," said company
spokesman Merav Lapidot.
Amos Yadlin, former commander of Israel´s military intelligence, told
Army Radio, "I think that the panic which is being instilled in the
public concerning Syrian chemical weapons is superfluous and it would
be best to ´turn down the volume´."
"Against the non-conventional threat it would be better to play up
Israel´s deterrent factor," Yadlin said, in an apparent reference to
superior Israeli weaponry, including missile shields.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2011 07/25/12)
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