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Yahoo! News   Mon, Mar 31, 2003
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Two Israelis die in room sealed against chemical attack
Mon Mar 31, 3:09 PM ET

JERUSALEM - Two elderly Israeli Arab sisters were found dead Monday in a room they had sealed against a possible Iraqi chemical missile attack, and Israeli police said they were checking whether the women suffocated.


It would be the second case of its kind involving a sealed room. A mother and her two teenage sons, also Israeli Arabs, were found dead in similar circumstances two weeks ago.

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said the bodies of the women, Hanna Khouri, 70 and Miriam Khouri, 73, bore no signs of violence. The room was sealed with plastic sheeting, but police could not say for certain they suffocated until a forensic examination was completed. The women shared a one-room apartment in the Arab town of Shfaram in northern Israel.

On March 17 a mother and two of her sons died in a town near Tel Aviv after going to sleep in a room sealed with nylon sheeting, duct tape and rags.

During the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), Iraq (news - web sites) fired 39 Scud missiles with conventional warheads at Israel, causing damage but few casualties. Before the war, Israel distributed gas masks to its citizens and instructed them to prepare sealed rooms.

This time, Israeli officials have said the risk of an Iraqi missile attack is low, but the military instructed citizens to carry gas masks and prepare sealed rooms in their homes in case of a chemical or biological attack.

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