April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas authorities warned Wednesday that swarms of moth spreading in the Gaza Strip recently, would do harm to crops growing in the enclave if out of control.

It is unknown where the insects came from, an official with the Hamas Agricultural Ministry said, however, he added that he believes Israel was the source, since the moths are largely found in the fields near Gaza-Israel borders.

The insect, known as "Vine Hawk-Moth," feeds on leaves of trees and herbage crops, Ziad Hamada said, noting the ministry lacks proper means to control the swarms, blaming Israeli economic sanctions.

Israel imposed an economic blockade on Gaza when the Hamas took over the coastal enclave in 2007, but started easing it in June 2010.


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