This was a prelude to declaration of war in Desert Storm, so we assume this act is highly significant.

400,000 gas masks on their way


TEL AVIV (February 12) -- A concerted effort by the Defense and Foreign ministries is bringing more than 400,000 gas masks to Israel from Germany, Holland, Sweden, and the US. The masks are meant primarily for foreign workers and Palestinians who live in Area C.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Aviv Shir-On said 180,000 gas masks have been purchased in Germany, 125,000 in the Netherlands, 100,000 in Sweden, and 40,000 in the US.

The Dutch consignment already has arrived. More masks are en route from Germany and Sweden, but the American-made equipment is being kept ready for immediate shipment and can be here within 24 hours of the requisite shipping order.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Itim that there is no budgetary problem regarding the procurement of gas masks.

Meanwhile, a delegation of senior officials from Thailand's ministries of Foreign Affairs and Labor is due to arrive today to arrange for the evacuation of Thai nationals in the event of an emergency.

The officials will confer with the leaders of the moshav movement and will discuss the supply of protective gear to their Thai employees, Itim said.

MK Shalom Simhon, secretary of the moshav movement, reportedly proposed that 4,000 Thai workers situated in potentially dangerous areas be moved to moshavim in Galilee, the Arava, and the Jordan Valley.

He estimated that 18,000 Thais are employed in the various moshavim.

A special gas mask distribution station was opened by the Home Front Command in Kfar Shmaryahu for the estimated 3,000 foreign diplomats and their families.

The Foreign Ministry has been helping the diplomatic corps obtain new masks or upgrade old ones, Itim said. More than 1,500 masks were issued at the new facility. A substantial number of diplomats updated their masks, as requested by the authorities, during the past year.

A special interministerial committee has been formed to make sure all foreign residents receive gas masks.

An official circular notified the respective embassies that they will be informed of the location at which such people can receive them.

Editor:  Balaam's Ass Speaks--  Are they ordering any gas masks for all of the Arabs living in Israel or just for workers for Israelis?  It would be sad if this were a replay of Hitler's special Reich re-played in 1998?  Only the special Race and their servants are worthy to survive?  Can someone illuminate us?