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Unusual Trade: Israel Exports Surplus Apples To Syria

June 1, 2006
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Using the United Nations (UN) as an intermediary, Israel exported about 10,000
tons of apples from the Golan Heights to Syria this spring, double the amount
exported last year. The growing trade in apples between the two countries,

which are technically at war with each other, is an interesting anomaly in a
region riddled with violence and conflict. The Syrians, apparently short on
apples, unexpectedly agreed to the deal, brokered by the UN on behalf of the
Israel Agriculture Ministry.

Ironically, Israel’s apples are grown mainly in the Golan Heights, which Syria
has considered occupied territory since the 1967 Six Day War. The produce will
come from Druze apple growers. The deal is expected to help Jewish growers
by stabilizing prices on the local market, said Giora Sela, Director of the Israel
Farmers’ Federation.

In another twist, Sela said Israel’s surplus of apples stems from the inability of
growers to market the produce in Gaza due to the prolonged closure of Karni
border terminal, shut down for security reasons. Syrian consumers may not be
able to taste the Israeli apples as the importers will probably resell the apples to
states in the Persian Gulf, where produce prices are much higher.

Source: Excerpted from an article by Scott Shiloh, InterNetNews

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