Tuesday, February 23, 2021

“One of the most dangerous environmental disasters” in its history … Israel is looking for an oil spill that hit 90% of its coasts


Atlanta, USA (CNN) – The Israeli authorities are trying to determine the source responsible for the oil spill to its shores, which led to what has been described as “one of the most serious environmental disasters” that struck Israel.

The Nature and Parks Authority of the Israeli Ministry of Environment said, “The huge amounts of tar emitted in recent days to the shores of Israel from south to north have caused one of the most severe environmental disasters that struck Israel.”

The scale of the pollution has reached such bad levels that it prompted the Israeli Ministry of Interior to issue a warning on Sunday, asking people to move away from specific beaches after tar blocks began to appear last week.

To assist with the clean-up efforts, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has set up a registration and information center for volunteers who wish to help. “According to field assessments, it is clear that it will require the continuation of these complex and arduous operations over a long period of time,” she said.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority added that “out of 190 kilometers of beaches in Israel, the environmental disaster struck 170 kilometers,” or about 90% of its shores. “The crisis is not over yet and the tar is still reaching the shores,” she added.

Credit: Israel Nature and Parks Authority

The photos, posted on the pages of official government accounts on social media, of seabirds and turtles covered in tar and sticky oil, showed how the pollution has already affected environmental life in the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Environment Protection Minister Gila Gamliel inspected a part of the tar-flooded coast on Sunday to assess the damage. “I have been very impressed by the exemplary volunteer work of the citizens who came to clean the beaches,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We must protect our beaches, our country and our environment.”

Netanyahu added, “I just spoke with the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources who came to us, and we suggested that every ship here operates with natural gas instead of polluted fuel, as happened here.”

One of the most dangerous environmental disasters in its history ... Israel is searching for an oil spill that hit 90% of its shores
Credit: Israel Nature and Parks Authority

The Israeli Prime Minister’s statement quoted the Minister of Environmental Protection as saying: “We have the possibility to sue the insurance company on the ship responsible for the pollution, and we will do our best to locate it.

The minister also confirmed, in a tweet on her Twitter account, that “all possible efforts have been made to find those responsible for this disaster.”



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