The IDF remained on alert Sunday despite the delay in a potential US strike on Syria due to President Barack Obama’s Saturday announcement that he would seek congressional approval for such an attack.
Last week, the IDF received approval for a limited call-up of reserves and declared a state of high alert for the Northern Command and air force, a state that is expected to continue pending developments.
The reserve call-up, which has now become open-ended for an estimated 1,000 reservists, could carry a significant financial cost for the IDF, which pays reservists approximately 70 percent of their civilian pay during their service.
Due to overwhelming demand at gas mask distribution centers, which led to hours-long lines last week, four new distribution points opened Sunday around the country, in Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, Bat Yam and Kiryat Motzkin.
The Jerusalem and Haifa area distribution points, which saw some of the longest lines last week, were closed Sunday, a Home Front Command spokeswoman told The Times of Israel. They would reopen according to need, she said, potentially as early as Monday.
Last week, while officials remained adamant any attack on Israel was unlikely, the IDF deployed additional Iron Dome batteries in the north and Tel Aviv area, and was readying the Arrow short-range rocket defense system and Patriot anti-missile array for use on the northern front.
Statements from both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF last week stressed that the possibility of an attack on Israel by Syria, in response to anticipated Western airstrikes, was minimal, and urged Israelis to continue with their normal routines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Postal Service has published an English-language informational website about gas mask kits and how they can be obtained, as well as a dedicated Hebrew-language page with a constantly updating list of distribution center schedules and locations.
As the schedules can change, the Home Front Command has recommended calling 104 to confirm that a distribution center is open and operational before arriving.
The Postal Service also runs a nationwide home delivery service for gas masks that carries a fee of NIS 25-40 per household. It can be reached at *2237 or 03-713-3830.
In Tel Aviv, the distribution center is at the Rozin Community Center, 2 Dresner Street, with operating hours of 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
In Bat Yam, distribution is at the recreational center at 10 Ehud Cinnamon St, with operating hours of 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
In Bnei Brak, the distribution point as at the Ramat Elhanan community center, at the corner of Eshel Avraham and Rabinov Streets, with operating hours of 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
In Kiryat Motzkin, distribution is at the Kiryat Motzkin zoo, HaHashmonaim 79, with hours from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Distribution centers in the Jerusalem and Haifa areas were closed Sunday September 1, pending developments and demand.