Israel will test the preparedness of its emergency response services next week when the military holds a drill simulating a chemical attack by a suicide bomber.

The drill comes despite a recommendation made last month by Israel’s security establishment that the cabinet halt the manufacture and distribution of gas masks to civilians, after Syria agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons arsenal – a move that indicates a decline in the real and imminent risk of a chemical attack on Israel.

The Defense Ministry said next week’s drill, which will take place on Wednesday, is part of routine perennial training program, that “was planned long ago, and isn’t connected to any particular event.” […]