With Passover only a few weeks away, the eighth of the Ten Plagues descended upon Israel on Tuesday after already overtaking much of Egypt.
In the mid-afternoon that day, the Agriculture Ministry reported that a large swarm of locusts containing millions of individuals had crossed the border from Sinai and into Kadesh Barnea. Ministry workers immediately embarked on an observational aircraft mission to map the location of the band of bugs, after which they sprayed the entire area from the air, the office said. By evening, the ministry reported that the swarm had landed near to where they had entered the country, and that they were not expected to rise back into the air before Wednesday morning. At the first signs of light on Wednesday, the workers will be distributing both aerial and ground pesticide sprays in the area, the ministry said, noting that the office will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt.
A report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is maintaining a close watch on the situation, said that there is a risk that a few more locusts from Sinai will continue to arrive to the Negev through the end of Tuesday, with the chance of reaching adjacent Arava Valley areas in Jordan. By Wednesday and on, however, the FAO said that the possibility of additional swarms hitting Israel and Jordan would decline greatly as winds will likely shift.