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      Israel Post Office Distributes Different Masks

      The Israel Postal Company chose Purim, when Jews wear costumes and masks, to launch its distribution of gas masks.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 2/28/2010, 9:29 PM / Last Update: 2/28/2010, 9:55 PM

      Israel Postal Company

      The Israel Postal Company chose Sunday, the day most of the country celebrated the joyous holiday of Purim, as the day on which it began its distribution of gas masks to the nation's residents, ranging from infants to adults. (All photos are courtesy of the Israel Postal Company.)

      The program, which began with the city of Or Yehuda, will initially last six days, after which it will extend to Kiryat Ono and the surrounding areas, according to a statement by Avi Hochman, CEO and president of the Israel Postal Company.

      The Ministry of Defense awarded the contract for the project to the Israel Post, said Hochman, who said the project will include a “state of the art technological and logistical infrastructure.”

      A special call center will field queries from customers and requests for information via the “171” call line. In addition, readers can access informationon the Israel Postal Company website in several different languages, including English, by clicking here.

      Individual gas masks were first distributed to Israel's citizens on the eve of the 1990 Gulf War, with routine maintenance having been provided by Home Front Command until 2003. The kits were subsequently collected by the government, however, as demographic changes took place across the country and the kits reached their various expiration dates.

      Most of the remaining kits were collected for rehabilitation and refreshing during a 2007-2008 government drive. The redistribution of the kits, which begins this year, is expected to take about three years.

      Residents who have not yet returned their old protective kits are asked to please do so during the distribution drive. For further information, call the Home Front Command Information Center at telephone number “1207”.