The Agriculture Ministry launched a major crop-dusting campaign Wednesday to combat a large swarm of locusts that entered the country from Egypt. The campaign was set to focus on the Har Keren, Ashalim and Ruhama regions in the south of the country.
The ministry fears warm weather will see additional swarms of locusts cross the border from the Sinai Peninsula.
Israel has been battling swarms of locusts for the past week, with ever larger swarms arriving on a daily basis. The ministry said its preemptive spraying measures staved off the damage the locusts could have caused to crops in the south.
Egyptian media reported Tuesday that additional swarms of locusts, numbering hundreds of millions of insects, were spotted over the Sinai, east of El Arish. Authorities there were facing difficulties eradicating the pests due to a failure in one of the main water pipes to the city.
The Ramat Negev Regional Council in southern Israel sent a letter to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday, requesting permission for Israeli crop-dusters to fly over the Sinai region, to help both countries.
The letter was written in Arabic and was handed to the Egyptian Embassy in Israel before being delivered to the office of the president.