Israel completed on Saturday the burial of poultry suspected to be contracted with bird flu, bringing the number of birds destroyed since the outbreak of the epidemic to 1.2 million, local Ha'aretz newspaper reported.
Israeli veterinary services are now preparing for another possible outbreak of the disease in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are not destroying the infected birds out of fear of losing a key source of income without receiving compensation, the report said.
Israel Radio reported on Saturday that the World Bank promised to compensate Palestinian farmers who will be forced to cull fowl infected with the avian flu.
In contacts with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz agreed to donate two million U.S. dollars which would cover the losses of the Palestinian chicken- growers.
The World Bank announced it also planned to continue efforts to raise funds which would offset the losses in the Palestinian poultry sector, Israel Radio said.
The Palestinian agriculture minister confirmed on Friday that the deadly bird flu virus had been found in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
This is the second Gazan location with the outbreak following Gaza City being identified earlier this week.