Israel Exports Surplus Apples to Syria

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GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel - For the next several weeks, 30 truckloads of Israeli-grown apples will enter Syria via the Kuneitra crossing, used primarily for United Nations personnel.

The annual export, in its fifth consecutive year, begins Tuesday under the directives of the Israeli government, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson's Office announced.

The IDF will help ensure that the transfer takes place quickly and efficiently.

Israel's Ministry of Agriculture approved the export of surplus apples to Syria.

The apples will be received by the International Red Cross, which requested the 10,000 tons of fresh produce.

"This is a humanitarian action that helps Druze farmers economically," said Red Cross official Yael Segev-Eitan.

Giora Sela, director of Israel Farmers' Federation, said exporting the surplus benefits Jewish farmers as well by helping to stabilize local prices.

According to Sela, Syrian importers will likely export some of the apples to Persian Gulf states, where fresh produce brings higher prices.

An estimated 20 percent of the apple crop will be exported to Syria.

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Israel national news contributed to this report.

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