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Israeli farmers end strike

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli farmers ended a three-day strike that had halted deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, fish and poultry.

The farmers were protesting a government decision to lower the quota for foreign agriculture workers being allowed into Israel.

Following a meeting Nov. 24 with farmers’ representatives and the Israeli ministers of agriculture, finance and interior, Finance Minister Yuval Steinetz agreed to to set up a committee to review the shortage of foreign agriculture workers, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

An agreement signed in May 2009 between farmers and the government set an annual reduction of 2,000 foreign workers in exchange for government aid to the agricultural sector. The farmers say they are short 4,500 workers this year, while the government claims that the shortage is 1,500 due to a failure by farmers to complete required paperwork for the workers.

The strike, which was announced more than two weeks ago, reportedly cost more than $25 million a day, with farmers feeling it the most.

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