A.B.C. kits to be redistributed to public|
'Least prepared for chemical attack we've been in 20 years'
Defense Ministry, National Emergency Administration to upgrade atomic, biological, chemical protection kits; MK Steinitz warns redistribution plan lacks deadlines, endangers public
First Published: 14:12 , 04.02.08
"The cabinet's decision to upgrade the kits without clearly setting any
deadlines is a farce that repeats all the mistakes made in the neglect of
the home front during the Second Lebanon War. I can already see the
committee of inquiry into the next war, and it will be far worse than
Winograd," MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said on Wednesday.
The defense establishment announced earlier in the day that the atomic,
biological, and chemical protection kits recently collected from the
public will be upgraded and redistributed.
The decision to redistribute the kits was made by the Defense Ministry,
in view of the recent ground-to-ground missile threats made evident
against Israel and in an attempt to boost home front readiness
against a possible chemical attack emanating form Iran or Syria.
Within a few months, said the ministry, all A.B.C kits given to the
public will be collected, updated and redistributed, in a manner yet to be
Steinitz, who in his capacity as chairman of the Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee in 2007 prepared an alarming report on the
preparedness of the home front on the A.B.C. front, said it was
irresponsible to take the kits out of people's homes.
The MK recommended that in light of the delays in the collection and
redistribution of the kits, the defense establishment should provide
citizens in danger zones (primarily in the North) with spare kits from
Combat reservists should also receive kits, Steinitz said, so that they
are able to report to the front lines for service already equipped with
"But not a single upgraded kit has been redistributed thus far," he
said, "despite the billions that Israel has invested in purchasing and
upgrading these kits, we are the least prepared we've been for such an
attack in over 20 years."
Security officials appearing before the cabinet stressed that the
defense establishment has no intention of causing a public panic, but
nevertheless, the government must be prepared for the possibility that
missiles carrying "dirty" warheads may be fired on the exposed Israeli
National Emergency Administration Chief
Brigadier-General (Res) Ze'ev Tzuk-Ram told Ynet that "there is absolutely
no need for panic of any kind. This was a predictable move, which got the
go-ahead this morning; and following the (cabinet's) green light we will
complete collecting the kits from the public, at which point they will be
updated and then redistributed."
The expected cost of the project was not made public.
The Home Front Command is expected to hold a nation-wide emergency
drill next week simulating a series of emergency situations and checking
readiness of security and emergency forces, local municipalities, schools,
and even the cabinet itself – to respond to the developing events.
Syria is expected to follow the drill closely, as the
London-based Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi suggested Wednesday that Damascus perceives it to be
part of Israel's preparations for a comprehensive Israeli strike on
Original article: Ynet News
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