Bill Would Give Israelis Free Masks

A Chevron Yeshiva bochur arriving for Elul zeman with his mask. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Every Israeli citizen will soon be in line for a free mask to protect against the coronavirus, if a bill introduced in the Knesset on Wednesday gains passage, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Twenty-seven MKs from seven parties joined in sponsoring the bill initiated by Joint List MK Aida Touma Sliman which gives it a good chance to become law.

Citing a consensus of medical opinion that face masks help prevent spread of the virus, it would require the government to distribute the masks to the public at distribution points throughout the country.

The proposal recalls that ahead of the first Gulf War in 1991, when Israel feared a chemical weapons attack by then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the state distributed gas masks without charge to all Israelis.

The bill will have to get the approval of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. It was not clear when that will be, however, as the committee has not met for five weeks.