KIBBUTZ EINAT - Hummus shortage in the cards? Some 75 tons (165,000 pounds) of chickpeas, used to make hummus, were stolen early Tuesday from Kibbutz Einat in the Sharon area, with farmers incurring a loss of NIS 200,000 (about USD 45,000).
The robbery occurred after kibbutz members placed the harvested chickpeas in storage containers and left them overnight in the field.
A group of masked intruders arrived during the night, attacked the guard, tied him up and stole the crops.
Liel Tayar, responsible for the growing of chickpeas at the kibbutz, told Ynet the humus grains are grown throughout the year.
"After we picked them yesterday, we stored them in large baths," he said. "We placed a guard at the site and this morning had planned to transfer the chickpeas to buyers."
However, he said, the kibbutz received a message earlier that the guard had been tied up and the crops had been stolen.
Largest robbery ever
Tayar said he believes the stolen stock would be sold either in Israel or in Palestinian territories. Notably, both Israelis and Palestinians are known as avid hummus eaters.
Agricultural equipment is often stolen from the kibbutz, Tayar added, but said such chickpea theft was unheard of.
Farmers at the kibbutz say they will continue harvesting the remaining chickpeas, but plan to find an alternative storage solution.
Meanwhile, police have launched an investigation into the incident. At present no suspects have been arrested.