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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Egypt again refusing to sell "lulavim" to Israel for Sukkot

Last year, for the first time in decades, Egypt refused to sell palm fronds to Israel for the holiday of Sukkot.

In previous years, Israeli Jews would purchase as many as 600,000 of these traditional lulavim. But last year, in what was hailed as a wonderful example of Egyptian "defiance," the state banned all exports of the lulavim using an excuse of tree diseases.

This year, there are reports that Egypt is continuing their ban on lulav exports. The official excuse this year is that the security crackdown in the Sinai is making it difficult to do the harvest.

Last year, after Egypt's rebuff, Israel tried to import the lulavim from Gaza but Hamas refused as well, causing Gaza farmers to lose an estimated one million dollars. UNRWA's spokesman, instead of slamming Hamas for refusing to help its people, instead blamed Israel for hypocrisy in seeking to import goods from Gaza.