'Home Front Command is Prepared for Any Scenario'
Tzviki Tessler, deputy commander of the Home Front Command, said on Thursday that the Home Front Command was “prepared to address different scenarios”, as preparations continue for a possible Western military strike in Syria.
Speaking to the IDF Spokesperson Unit’s website, Tessler said that Home Front Command is in close contact with local authorities, government agencies and emergency organizations.
"The relationship with the authorities is continuous throughout the year,” he emphasized, adding, "In light of recent events, officers from the Home Front Command are meeting with mayors to coordinate the level of readiness and competence."
Distribution of gas masks will continue in accordance with the annual work plan, said Tessler, noting that the gas mask kits are just one element of the Home Front Command’s work to defend Israelis against possible attacks.
“Providing a warning in case of an attack is a first-rate life saver, and we are working on several levels to issue an efficient, reliable and focused warning to each and every citizen,” he noted. “Personal, family and public protection are essential to the strength of the Israeli home front.”
Over the past two days, large numbers of Israeli citizens have been standing in line to obtain gas masks after the media warned that a U.S. attack on Syrian targets was imminent, and as Bashar Al-Assad's regime warned that it would respond to such an attack by targeting Israel.
The IDF expressed satisfaction at the fact that so many citizens are finally getting masks, but was also concerned that the national stockpile of gas masks will soon be depleted.
Post offices, where the masks are distributed, and Home Front Command offices, were reportedly inundated with phone calls from citizens wishing to obtain masks.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged Israeli citizens on Thursday to go about their daily routines.
“Despite the low assessment regarding Israel's involvement in what is going on in Syria, we decided to deploy Iron Dome batteries as well as our other intercept systems,” said Netanyahu.
“We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone one tries to harm Israel's citizens, the IDF will respond very strongly,” he stressed.