Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon (photo) wrote a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asking his personal intervention to expedite the import of 300,000 Lulavs to Israel for the Sukkot holiday.
The request to Mubarak was made because the governor of Sinai is holding up the deal in order to prevent further damage to the plant life. The letter was delivered through Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer who is leaving for Egypt on an official visit.
Simhon explained the religious significance of the Lulav to the Jewish tradition and the holiday of Sukkot and said that Israel greatly values the Lulavs that are grown in the Sinai.
Since 1948, Israel has been importing the Lulavs from northern Sinai to the satisfaction of both countries, as well as to the Israeli importers and the consumers. However, the timing of the import is crucial and during the last two years there have been delays in the importation of the Lulavs. At least 300,000 of the necessary 500,000 need to arrive in Israel before September 30, so the holiday will not be interrupted.