Not just politicians, but regular citizens are concerned about the situation in Syria: On Sunday, reports of a possible military strike on Syria led to a surge in demand for gas masks.
The Israel Postal Company said that the number of inquiries to their gas mask hotline increased fourfold on Sunday, and the number of people ordering home delivery of gas mask kits was three times as high as on a regular day.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that Sunday had seen a spike in civilian demand for gas mask kits. However, they said that such spikes occur every time something relevant happens in the news.
The Israel Postal Company has been in charge of distributing gas mask kits since February 2010. According to their data, 5 million Israelis have collected their kits. In Hod Hasharon, 77.6 percent of the city's residents have collected their gas masks. In Modiin, 76.8% did the same, and some 76.1% of the residents of Kiryat Shmona and 74.4% of those who live in Beersheba have made sure to collect their kits.
Meanwhile, the percentage of takers in other cities is relatively low. In Tel Aviv, only 61.9% have picked up their gas masks; in Jerusalem, 29.7% of residents have done so; and in Eilat, only 27.8% did the same.
'What is transpiring in Syria is a crime'
Israel is monitoring the events in Syria closely. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the issue at the start of the cabinet meeting on Sunday.
"What happened in Syria is a terrible tragedy and also a terrible crime," Netanyahu said. "It is forbidden for the most dangerous regimes in the world to obtain the most dangerous weapons. We expect that someone will put a stop to this. But we always remember the ancient words of our sages: 'If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?'"
The prime minister emphasized that Israel is resolute, saying, "We have our fingers on the pulse, we have our fingers on the trigger, we will always know how to defend our citizens and our country against those who come to harm us."
Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon also commented on the situation in Syria Sunday, saying, "There are many things happening in our region, particularly the use of unconventional weapons. From our point of view, this has become routine.
"We have the red lines we established," said Ya'alon, "and we stand by them: We will not allow the transfer of quality weaponry to Hezbollah. We will not allow the transfer of chemical weapons and we will respond to any attack on our sovereignty. We claim that we must defend ourselves by ourselves. We do not expect foreign armies to do it for us."
Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Knesset has gone into summer recess, MK Eli Yishai (Shas) has convening an emergency session of the Homefront Readiness Subcommittee, which he chairs, on Wednesday.
"It is the government's obligation to be ready for every scenario that could hurt or disrupt citizens' routines. The committee I head will hold an urgent hearing to examine every scenario impacting the homefront's preparedness and our ability to defend it."