Egypt bans palm frond exports for Jewish holiday

AP News
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Posted: Sep 19, 2011 10:52 AM
Egypt bans palm frond exports for Jewish holiday

A major Jewish holiday appears to have become the latest victim of strained Israel-Egyptian ties.

Israel's Agriculture Ministry says Egypt has banned the export of palm fronds to Israel and Jewish communities abroad. The fronds are used in prayer services during the upcoming Succoth festival.

The ministry says it was notified by Egypt this week. Egypt supplies about 700,000 of the fronds to Israel each year. It says no reason was given. There was no immediate comment from Egypt.

The ministry says more expensive Israeli fronds are expected to fill the void.

Israel's relations with Egypt have deteriorated since a popular uprising ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February. Earlier this month, an Egyptian mob stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and forced Israeli diplomats to be evacuated.