A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.
A closed palm frond, known in Hebrew as a lulav, is gathered along with myrtle stalks, willow stalks, and the fruit of the citron tree to make up the “Four Species” that are bundled together, as instructed in Leviticus 23:40, for use during the week-long holiday.
The local Israeli District Coordination and Liaison Office (DCO) arranged with Palestinian Authority officials for the shipment to arrive through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the main conduit for goods transfers between the Palestinian territory and Israel.
“Alongside the thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables every week, we also coordinate unusual shipments like this one, that made its way to every part of the country,” said Uri Madar, agriculture coordinator at the DCO.
“Blessings will be said in Israel on thousands of lulavs produced in Gaza, and that is just an example of the steps that we are taking here every day of the year, measures that are good for agriculture, and good for markets on both sides, the Israeli and Palestinian,” Madar added.