Israel will begin transporting about 12,000 tons of apples from the Golan Heights to Syria on Tuesday. This is the largest quantity of the produce ever transferred between the two countries, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who will be overseeing the operation.
The apples were grown by Syrian farmers living in the Golan Heights. Although such transfer has been undertaken in the past, it is a rare occurrence as it requires extensive coordination between Syria's Foreign Ministry and Israel's Foreign, Defense, Finance and Agriculture Ministries,
The ICRC will act as a neutral mediator in the transfer, which will take roughly 10 weeks to complete. Three ICRC trucks will drive up and down a strip of demilitarized road half a kilometer in length, crossing the border between Israel-occupied Golan and Syria-occupied Golan.
Apples are at the core of the local economy in the Golan Heights, whose farmers rely on the sales in Israel, Syria and other neighboring countries.
The transfers began six years ago, with 4,000 tons of apples sold.