Israel ordered a small-scale mobilization of reservists and strengthened its missile defenses as precautions against possible Syrian attack should Western powers carry out threatened strikes on Syria. Facing potential attack by the United States and other Western powers over its alleged use of chemical weapons, Damascus has hinted it could shoot back at the Jewish state. Israel is also braced for possible rockets from Hezbollah.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that Israel was “taking steps for just in case.” Israel has provided its citizens with equipment to cope with possible chemical or biological attacks since the 1991 Gulf War; however, only about 60 percent of Israelis collected their gas masks before the current tensions over Syria erupted. The Israeli Postal Service, which oversees mask distribution, said the number of orders phoned in by the public in recent days had quadrupled.