A girl tries on a gas mask at a distribution centre in Mevaseret Zion near Jerusalem on July 25, 2012
An Israeli girl tries on a gas mask at a distribution center in a shopping centre in Mevaseret Zion on the outskirts of Jerusalem on July 25, 2012. Israel must provide Palestinians living in the occupied territories with gas masks, a Palestinian official has said, in the event of a spillover of violence from Syria. © Menahem Kahana - AFP/File
A girl tries on a gas mask at a distribution centre in Mevaseret Zion near Jerusalem on July 25, 2012
AFP
Last updated: September 4, 2013

Israel must give Palestinians gas masks

Israel must provide Palestinians living in the occupied territories with gas masks, a Palestinian official has said, in the event of a spillover of violence from Syria.

Israel has been distributing gas masks to its citizens over the last two weeks amid fears of reprisals against the Jewish state, following anticipated US military intervention in neighbouring Syria.

"If there is any war in the region, the responsibility (for ensuring Palestinians civilians are prepared) falls upon Israel, because it is the occupying authority," Palestinian Authority security services spokesman Adnan al-Dumayri told AFP on Tuesday.

"Israel must provide to all citizens living under its occupation the necessary security equipment, be that gas masks or other items, especially if Israel gets into a war we have no connection with.

"We are living under occupation, we have no sovereignty over our borders (in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), and we can't import gas masks," Dumayri said.

Israelis last week scrambled to collect gas masks provided by the state, queueing up sometimes for hours at distribution centres -- mostly post offices -- across the country.

Palestinians living in the occupied territories have not received any such safety equipment.

The US is mulling military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on August 21.

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