Israel began distributing millions of protection kits against biochemical warfare, Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai announced, “We have equipped ourselves with millions of protection kits against biological or chemical warfare, and a massive distribution program for the population started today,” “Every family in Israel can receive these kits at home and be instructed on how to use them by Israeli postal workers, at an average cost of 25 shekels (five dollars), or pick them up free of charge at post office counters.”
The distribution came as an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quoted by the Islamic republic’s Fars news agency on Tuesday, warned that his country would hit Tel Aviv with missiles if it came under attack.
“If the enemy takes its chance and fires a missile towards Iran, the dust from an Iranian missile strike will rise in the heart of Tel Aviv even before the dust from the enemy attack settles” in Iran, said cleric Mojtaba Zolnoor.
Iran has regularly boasted of its missile capability, saying it has an arsenal which can strike Israel, which along with Washington has not ruled out a military strike to halt Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.
The Israeli government decided on January 5 to distribute eight million new gas masks, one for each citizen, by 2013 and already distributed gas masks to 70,000 residents of of Yehuda, near Tel Aviv in February.
Israel has long feared chemical or biological weapons may be used against it in a future conflict involving the Jewish state’s arch-foes, Iran or Syria.
The country came under sustained attack during its 2006 war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, when more than 4,000 Katyusha rockets were launched at north Israel in 34 days, sending hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing south.