Sunday, February 25, 2024

Report: Protracted war with Hamas could cause food crisis in Israel

The Food Industries Association of Israel (FIAI) has warned that a dragged-out war with Hamas may threaten Israel's food security if the Israeli government fails to implement a clear strategy to prevent such a scenario.

FIAI Chairman Dodi Manevich and the president of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel (MAI), Ron Tomer, appealed to David Bitan, chairman of the economy committee in the Israeli parliament, asking for an emergency meeting to discuss food security and emergency food stockpile, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Manevich and Tomer warned that the Israeli government needs to prepare a strategy to ensure that at least 75% of all food products are sourced locally to prevent a food crisis. At the moment, about 90% of the Israeli food production facilities are located in the conflict zones in the north and south of the country, FIAI estimated.

The facilities continue to operate even though they are exposed to rocket attacks from Gaza or Lebanon and many of their employees have been evacuated to safer areas.

The two officials also pointed out the threat to supply chains posed by attacks by Yemen’s Houthi movement on Israeli merchant vessels in the Red Sea.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, killing at least 20,674 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 54,536 others, according to local health authorities.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with half of the coastal territory’s housing damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

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