Troubled relations between Israel and Egypt have affected the upcoming Jewish festival of Sukkot, as the rift between the governments stopped the planned import of lulavs — palm tree fronds — from the Sinai Peninsula before the holiday.
For years, lulavs from el-Arish were sold in Israel ahead of the holiday, but this year it appeared this would not happen, Israel National News reported on Monday Morning.
Tension between the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt and its Israeli counterpart, along with the tense security situation in Sinai, led to communication breakdowns between the various departments across the border, the report said.
Sinai-grown lulavs are usually cheaper than locally grown ones, which helped reduce market cost of the closed palm fronds, used in religious rituals during the holiday.
There should be enough homegrown lulavs, Avner Rotem of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi said. The religious kibbutz, located near Beit She’an, produced hundreds of thousands of lulavs in 2011, and Rotem said the number had grown by tens of thousands this year.
“There are enough [lulavs] of local produce,” Rotem said, “and this year will prove it.”
He warned, though, that some people could take advantage of the situation and try to profit from it. A price hike would most likely take place on the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, he warned, and called for people to buy earlier.