Inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry halted the sale of 400 kilograms of strawberries that had been illegally smuggled into the country from the Gaza Strip, the ministry announced on Monday.
The inspectors from the ministry's Central Unit for Enforcement and Investigations were alerted about the contraband by concerned Beersheba residents, who noticed Arabic and English writing on the strawberry cartons, indicating that they were from Gaza.
The strawberries were placed next to other produce on shelves at a grocery store. When the inspectors arrived, they searched a warehouse behind the store and found 90 cartons, each containing 16 packages weighing a quarter of a kilogram.
According to Israeli law, agricultural products imported into the country must be moved in places regulated by authorities and are subject to biological testing for pesticides, and vendors must have a permit from the Health Ministry. According to the Agriculture Ministry statement, none of these requirements were met.
The ministry added that anyone who comes across crates of fruits or vegetables that they suspect are from Gaza should report it to the ministry's 24/7 hotline at 6016.