Israel Fighting Locust Invasion

Israeli planes are bombarding hundreds of thousands of attackers from Egypt- not Arab troops and tanks, but rather swarms of locusts. The unwelcome guests have reached Eilat and the northern Negev.

, | updated: 09:08

Agriculture Ministry spokesmen said on Friday that they hoped intensive spraying would overcome the threat of locusts reaching Negev farms - but they were apparently too optimistic. Several swarms have landed in Israel's southernmost city, Eilat, and are reportedly attacking the palm trees outside the city's hospital. Potato farms north of Eilat were also under "locust attack," and reports of locust sightings have come from the B'sor region in the north-western Negev.

It is feared that warm weather may encourage the locusts to multiply, thus increasing the threat several-fold.

Agriculture Ministry planes have sprayed in several areas, including Kibbutz Yahel, Ovdat, and further north of Eilat.

The locust swarms entered southern Israel from Sinai, and are now making their way towards Jordan. The "plague" has brought about a measure of trilateral cooperation among Israel, Egypt, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Ministry of Agriculture officials report that the appropriate offices in the three countries have been working together in monitoring the locusts' advancement and in taking action to avoid significant damage to crops.

Egypt was unsuccessful in controlling the locusts, which have invaded Israel for the first time in more than 40 years. On Saturday night, the locusts reached the date-palm fields at Kibbutz Keturah, about 50 miles north of Eilat. No damage was caused overnight, however, as locusts are active only during the day.

Jordan reported Saturday that it overcame its own locust invasion, which hit Aqaba, across the port from Eilat.