With U.S.-led military action in Syria potentially imminent, the Knesset Homefront Preparedness Subcommittee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday to examine the homefront's readiness for a Syrian attack against Israel.
"The state's duty is to be ready for any scenario," MK Eli Yishai, the subcommittee chairman, said.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a surprise meeting of the security cabinet, apparently to discuss Syria, Army Radio reported.
Also on Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces began a pre-planned two-day drill in the Golan Heights involving security and emergency forces. The IDF said area residents might hear the sounds of gunfire and explosions.
In light of the situation in Syria, there has been a marked increase in demand by Israelis for gas masks. Due to an overwhelming number of phone calls on Monday, the Israel Postal Company, which is responsible for distributing gas masks, said Israelis could also use its website to register to receive gas masks [only in Hebrew]. In addition, citizens can call their hotline at 171 and order home delivery of gas masks.
The Israel Postal Company has been in charge of distributing gas mask kits since February 2010. According to its data, 5 million Israelis have received their gas masks.
Meanwhile, Patriot anti-missile batteries in Haifa have been put on alert and aimed toward the north. During the First Gulf War in 1991, Patriot missile batteries in Israel were used to intercept Scud missiles fired by Iraq.
The Patriot system is part of Israel's multilayered aerial defense network, which also includes the Iron Dome, among other components.
Education Minister Shay Piron said on Tuesday that Israel's school system is prepared for any deterioration of the security situation vis-à-vis Syria.
More than 2 million students began the school year on Tuesday. Of these, about 149,000 are new students entering the first grade.
The Education Ministry said that despite tension over Syria, schools are operating normally and await any change of instructions.
With school getting back underway, Magen David Adom emergency medical service Director Eli Bin instructed medical teams to be on alert and ready to respond to any situation that comes up.