It may not be Rosh Hashana in Syria, and the civil war has ensured that the country lacks the sweetness of honey, but Israel will be providing the country plenty of apples regardless.
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On Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., Israel will begin apple exports to its northeastern enemy, renewing a scheme that started in 2005 to help Druze farmers in the Golan sell produce to their coreligionists in Syria. Last year, as in 2009, the operation was halted due to low apple output.
Over the course of the next three months, Israel will load some 18,000 tons of apples--about 15% of the annual crop, and four times the amount transferred in the original operation--onto trucks and, with the help of the Plants Production and Marketing Board, IDF and the Red Cross, help them cross the border into Syria. The Golden and Starking Red Delicious apples slated to cross the Purple Line were part of a bumper apple crop in 2012.
The operation of transporting the apples 300 meters includes packaging them with special cooling equipment to help them keep and loading them up onto Red Cross trucks, says Amir Antler, who manages the Galilee-Golan region for the Agriculture Ministry.