Israelis can expect to pay more for fewer quantities of delicious local fruit from the north this summer, due to a serious storm that struck the Golan Heights this weekend.
A heavy barrage of hail hit the region on Saturday, causing severe damage to fruit orchards that included cherry, apple, nectarine and peach trees, all of which are picked as the summer season approaches.
Although rain in April is not unusual, this time it was not good news for the farmers, due to the severity of the storm.
The hail led to the collapse of many of the nets used to protect the trees, forcing farmers to cut the nets. On farms where no nets were used, young fruits, which are especially sensitive, were attacked by the hail directly, and the damage was therefore much more severe.
The damage followed a similar storm that struck the Upper Galilee region near Mount Meron about 10 days ago. There, too, hail was the destructive force that caused extensive damage to the crops.
Bereshit Corporation project manager Gabi Kuniel told Israel’s Channel 12 News on Sunday that “in some places, the damage is dramatic. Many teams, in cooperation with the Natural and Agricultural Damage Fund, are inspecting the various orchards to assess the extent of the damage.”
Kuniel added that inspectors are expected to provide an assessment of the loss by the end of this week.