JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel likely will not have palm fronds from the Sinai for this year’s Sukkot lulavs.
Terror in the Sinai and a lack of communication between Israeli and Egyptian agricultural agencies are the reasons that the palm fronds will not be imported, Israel National News reported Monday. They are grown in the Sinai’s al-Arish area, located west of the Gaza Strip.
Last year, Egypt banned the export of the palm fronds to Israel, leading to fears of a lulav shortage for the holiday and higher prices. Israel’s Agricultural Ministry then encouraged local palm farmers to increase production.
Avner Rotem, manager of date palms on Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi in the Beit Shean Valley, told INN that there should be enough lulavs grown in Israel to meet domestic needs and for export.
Israel previously had imported about 700,000 palm fronds a year in the run-up to Sukkot, which is about 40 percent of the annual demand. Another 700,000 of the 2 million lulavs used in Diaspora Jewish communities also came from Egypt.
The holiday begins on the evening of Sept. 30.