Some 42 percent of Israelis do not have Atomic Biological Chemical (ABC) protective kits, Israeli daily Israel Hayom reports, and it will cost about $352 million for the government to supply them.
Government sources told the newspaper that a “decision to speed up the recent round of gas masks distribution was unrelated to the situation in Syria,” instead saying that the decision to have protective kits issued to all Israelis was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year. However lack of government funds has impeded the plan.
“The government is currently seeking ways to fund a rapid distribution process. Among the options are imposing a lateral cut on the various ministries’ budgets, asking the public to buy kits, or billing the public for kits through the National Insurance Institute in a scaled fashion, based on income and other factors,” writes Israel Hayom.
On Thursday Netanyahu said that the issue of gas masks would need to be addressed.
“We will make the necessary decisions and bear the brunt of the budgetary and practical ramifications they entail. There are different ways to finance the gaps [in the budget] and create a situation that will be both appropriate for the entire population and will change if need be,” the Prime Minister declared.