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Egypt locusts put neighboring Israel on high alert

Israel's Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline Monday and is asking Israelis to be vigilant in reporting locust sightings to prevent an outbreak.

Aladin Abdel Naby/Reuters
Swarms of locusts obscure the Giza pyramids near Cairo, in 2004. Swarms of pink locusts swept through Cairo on Wednesday that recalled the plague of biblical Egypt, flying high above tall towers and scaring pedestrians who stamped on them or ran for cover.

Israel is on a locust alert as swarms of the destructive bugs descend on neighboring Egyptahead of the Passover holiday.

Israel's Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline Monday and is asking Israelis to be vigilant in reporting locust sightings to prevent an outbreak.

Locusts have a devastating effect on agriculture by quickly stripping crops.

Swarms of locusts have descended on Egypt, raising fears they could spread to Israel.

The locust alert comes ahead of the Passover festival, which recounts the biblical story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. According to the Bible, a plague of locusts was one of 10 plagues God imposed on Egyptians for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews.

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