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PHOTOS: Gas mask panic in Israel ahead of potential Syria attack

Thousands of Israelis waited in line for hours in gas mask distribution centers following the news of a likely American attack on Syria. The army has informed the government that there are only enough gas masks for 60 percent of Israel’s citizens, and none for refugees, asylum seekers and other non-citizens.

This is what the Tel Aviv distribution center looked like today (Thursday).

Israelis waiting in front of a gas mask distribution center in Tel Aviv, August 29, 2013 (Oren Ziv/ Activestills)

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An Israeli man carrying gas masks for his family, Thursday, August 29, 2013 (Oren Ziv/activestills)

A woman walking away from a Tel Aviv distribution center for gas masks, August 29, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills)


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    1. Haifawi

      Typical Israeli behavior. Herd mentality and no foresight. Just like when they drive. I got mine as soon as I came here (it’s just a basic errand). It’s been put to good use against the IDF tear gassers.

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Agreed about typical Israeli behavior. How easy it is to control people’s behavior – all you need is a healthy dose of fear. Unfortunately for Israelis, their government is a masterful fear monger.

        Reply to Comment
        • or

          Im from Gush-Dan and it didnt happen at the scale this article wants to show… And the government did nothing – its the media that showed the statements of the syrian government that said it will bomb israel in face of western attack. After all, many people in the 2006 war experienced missile attacks on their towns, can you really blame them for being afraid that this will happen again, but by an organized country, ruled by a government which is on the brink of destruction, that used chemical weapons on her own civilians?

          Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        Forget the fact that masks should be renewed, forget the fact that people have children and they require new masks, forget the fact that there are only several distribution points in the whole of Israel and the amount of people standing in line is a tiny fraction of Israelis.

        What’s the herd mentality here? People are concerned and are willing to stand in line to get their masks. Where’s the issue? Where’s the big deal?

        Why pass a chance to write something bad about Israelis? Is this something common to ALL Israelis or just the Jews? As someone living here, do you think Arabs drive better?

        Reply to Comment
        • Haifawi

          hhhh…absolutely not
          which is why it is endlessly stupid to pretend that there’s some sort of fundamental difference between us that requires separation. We’re all careless and obnoxious middle easterners, and should all live together in one crazy state.

          Reply to Comment
          • Susi Fähnle

            Thanks so much for a good one!

            Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      The people in your photos look quite calm.

      And BTW, I haven’t noticed our government fear mongering. I see ordinary folk acting on their own initiative and getting masks they’d been remiss in getting before.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Vadim

      As usual, you’re missing the important issue. Israel is under danger of a tyrant attacking it with chemical weapons, for no better reason than it being called Israel and being populated by Jews. Must be because of Moshe has just built a new porch.

      The same people think it’s normal for Israelis to take masks and be ready for such a scenario but then accuse us of a “Vila in a jungle” mentality.

      The same people that urged Israel to hand the Golan heights to some homicidal maniac. Will you stand up and say – We were wrong? Will you admit there’s something inherently and profoundly wrong in this whole situation and that it’s not Israel fault? That perhaps it’s not only Israel’s fault that we don’t have the best relationships with our neighbours?

      Or is an invented Israeli “panic” more important?

      Reply to Comment
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