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Distribution of gas masks to Israeli civilians is halted

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Gas mask distribution centers in Israel were closed following a Defense Ministry order.

The centers closed Thursday, the last day scheduled for distribution of gas masks to the civilian public by the Home Front Command of the Israel Defense Services and by the Israel Postal Company. the government’s security Cabinet decided in January to cancel the public distribution of gas masks.

Some 63 percent of Israeli civilians have received their gas masks, according to the Postal Company.

The decision to halt the distribution will be reassessed at the end of the year, Haaretz reported.

The manufacturing of gas masks and protective kits will continue, however, mostly for use by soldiers and reservists.

Israel pays about $85.2 million a year to maintain the gas mask program, Haaretz reported.

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