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Israel's Children Learn to Put on Gas Masks

While IDF analysts at the 2012 Herzliya Conference describe the weapons aimed at Israel, instructors teach kids to put on their gas masks.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/2/2012, 12:53 PM

While top military analysts at the 2012 Herzliya Conference describe the types of weapons aimed at Israel, IDF emergency instructors calmly teach youngsters how to put on their gas masks.

Learning to protect one's self and to use defensive equipment has been an integral part of life in the Jewish State since its rebirth in 1948, when it began life under fire from surrounding Arab enemies.

Although much has changed, some things have remained constant – like the need to teach the next generation how to find the nearest safe space, and how to correctly put on a gas mask.

IDF emergency instructors routinely visit schools throughout Israel in order to teach young children how to perform these tasks -- even as young as second graders.

The training is carried out in a calm manner, one designed to “normalize” for youngsters as much as possible things that most Western societies would never dream of having to teach their children.

Israel has been systematically distributing upgraded gas masks to its citizens over the past year, and working on ensuring that all sectors of the population are protected before they're needed -- if ever.

The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza fired 627 rockets and mortar shells from their territory into Israel last year, and reiterated their commitment to eliminate “the Zionist entity” in any way they can. Last month, 14 missiles and mortar shells were fired into heavily populated areas of the Jewish State, according to IDF figures.

“This danger to the livelihood and lives of Israelis has engendered a culture of constant preparedness,” notes the IDF Spokesperson.

“This mentality has been passed down to the next generations, as Israelis raise their children to always be conscious of the nearest bomb shelter. At a young age, children also learn in school the basic steps of putting on a gas mask.”