Israel’s northern region – specifically, the Golan Heights – has been invaded from Syria by a new kind of terrorist: locusts.
Thousands of the insects crossed the border this week and invaded Moshav Alonei Habashan, a Jewish community located along the border, according to Israel’s Kan public broadcasting network.
Moshav member Natan Ziffer told Kan the swarm has been “a bit annoying” because the locusts “get into your house, your car, your hair.”
The locusts have found fertile ground at Alonei Habashan, where crops are plentiful and the vegetables are apparently very tempting to insect palates.
Females of the species have laid hundreds of thousands of eggs in the soil of the moshav – so even when the initial swarm moves on, which should happen fairly soon – more are likely to hatch, creating a new problem for the farmers.
Usually such swarms have infiltrate Israel from the direction of the south, from the deserts of Egypt. This past winter Egypt was struck by a brief locust swarm that arrived from the direction of Africa.
But for a period of eight months in 1915, the entire area around Israel, Lebanon and Syria was stripped of nearly all vegetation by huge swarms of locusts.
According to historian Zachary J. Foster, “The attack diminished the 1915 winter harvest . . . by 10-15 percent, and completely wrecked the 1915 summer and autumn harvests, in ranges varying from 60 to 100 percent, depending on the crop,” which resulted in part in the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon.