- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gas masks have become the thing in Israel, as huge crowds of people concerned about the spillover from the Syrian conflict have lined up at distribution centers in recent days to obtain their own.

Israeli television on Wednesday showed images of a long line at a Tel Aviv distribution point, while the commentator explained many waited for four hours to get their own masks.

Israel is also concerned about the potential for Syria to directly attack, The Associated Press reported.

The United States, meanwhile, is sending strong signals of a soon-coming military strike against Syria, in response to a chemical attack that rebel forces say was initiated by President Bashar Assad. The attack outside Damascus at a rebel stronghold left hundreds dead, including women and children, various media reported.

The head of Israel’s postal service — the agency that oversees gas-mask distribution — said demand has tripled over the past week. Maya Ayishai said roughly 5 million Israelis, or 60 percent of the country’s population, now own gas masks, AP reported.

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