Egypt Refuses to Supply Lulavim for Succos to Israel, US and
by Yechiel Sever
Egypt has halted the export of lulavim from the Sinai peninsula to
Israel, the United States and Europe. The Sinai peninsula was the main
source of lulavim for Israel in past years, supplying 500,000 out of a
total demand for about 700,000 lulavim.
The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture said that if the policy is not
reversed before the upcoming holiday it is likely to bring a sharp
rise in the price of lulavim. Meanwhile officials are negotiating with
Egyptian authorities to allow the import of lulavim but so far their
efforts have been met with total refusal. The Ministry said that it
hopes to locate alternate sources of supply including a big boost in
Israeli production. They were hopeful that local sources could meet
According to Avner Rotem, head of date production in Kibbutz Tirat
Zvi, those who use mehadrin lulavim would not be affected even if
there are no imports. Tirat Zvi is a major supplier of mehadrin
lulavim and every year they have managed to boost production
significantly. "Most of the overall lulav market in Israel is supplied
by imports. Most local production is of the Der'i and Zahidi strains
which are sold to the mehadrin market."
Among possible alternate sources of supply are Jordan and Spain.
Another possibility is the Gaza Strip although there is a political
issue there since trade with Gaza is embargoed.