Text size

The Kibbutz Movement announced Saturday that it is temporarily freezing the intake of Mexican volunteers because of fears over the swine flu virus.

The movement said the decision was made in advance of the expected arrival in two weeks of a group of Mexican youths who were to spend several months volunteering at kibbutzim in Israel's south.

Dozens of Mexican youths have been contacted by the Kibbutz Movement, which has asked them to postpone their flights to Israel until the threat of the virus passes.

Rina Keren, the manager of the Kibbutz Movement's volunteer department, made the decision following discussions with Foreign and Health Ministry officials.

There are currently around 500 foreign volunteers on 35 kibbutzim around the country. Most stay on their respective kibbutzim for between three to six months.

On Saturday, health officials confirmed that a third Israeli has been infected with the virus. The patient is a 34-year-old man who recently returned from a trip to Mexico.