The government closed all schools in Israel and the occupied territories Wednesday, concerned about the possibility of a chemical weapons attack by Iraq.
Officials urged calm as the deadline passed for Iraq to quit Kuwait.On Tuesday, Israel's air force commander said U.S. forces were not coordinating with the Israeli military, but he added he expected "complete coordination" should Israel enter a Persian Gulf war.
Maj. Gen. Avihu Bin-Nun told reporters that he knew of no promises by the United States to destroy Iraqi missiles should Iraq carry out its threat to attack Israel in response to a strike by U.S.-led forces in the gulf.
But the air force commander later said he expected cooperation in a war "once we have to act in the same area," since the United States "has declared that Israel is a major non-NATO ally."
An army spokesman called the closing of the schools until Sunday "an additional means of security for the Israeli population" and said it was decided by the Defense and Education ministries.
Universities were not included in the order.
Parents have expressed fears that in a chemical weapons attack, children would be in school while their government-issued gas masks were at home. The army announcement urged youngsters to "stay close to home."
The army also ordered a curfew on the Gaza Strip and widespread areas in the West Bank, apparently to make it easier to control the 1.7 million Palestinians of the occupied territories.
Nervousness over a possible attack was already apparent Tuesday as many Israelis stayed home, where they were urged to seal at least one room in case of a chemical weapons attack. Most citizens have been given gas masks.