Oil spill leads Israel to close beaches as it faces one of its ‘most severe ecological disasters’

Blobs of sticky tar began washing up on the nation’s Mediterranean shores final week. Images posted on official authorities accounts confirmed sea birds and turtles coated in tar and sticky oil.

“The enormous amounts of tar emitted in recent days to the shores of Israel from south to north caused one of the most severe ecological disasters to hit Israel,” the nation’s Nature and Parks Authority said Sunday.

The extent of the air pollution is so dangerous, Israel’s Ministry of Interior issued an advisory Sunday urging individuals to avoid the nation’s beaches.

A large cleanup is underway however the Nature and Parks Authority stated it would take a very long time to make the marine space secure once more. It has established a registration and data heart for volunteers who want to assist.

“According to field assessments, it is evident that these complex and strenuous operations will be required to continue over a long period of time,” the Nature and Parks Authority stated.

It warned that the spill had not but been contained as tar continues to wash up on the nation’s beaches.

“Out of 190 kilometers (119 miles) of beach in Israel, 170 kilometers (105 miles) were hit by the ecological disaster,” the authority stated on its Facebook web page Sunday. “The event is not over yet, and tar still continues to emit to the shores.”

Authorities are investigating the supply of the oil spill, suspected to be from an offshore ship.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel toured a portion of the tar-drenched shoreline Sunday to assess the injury.

Volunteers wearing protective clothing search for tar along Israel's coast  in Herzilya Pituah, north of Tel Aviv on February 21.Volunteers wearing protective clothing search for tar along israel's coast  in herzilya pituah, north of tel aviv on february 21.

“I was very impressed by the exemplary voluntarism of the citizens who came to clean up the beaches. We must maintain our beaches, our country and the environment,” Netanyahu stated in a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s workplace.

“I have just spoken with the Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister who has come to us, and we proposed that every ship that you see here be powered by natural gas instead of polluting fuel, as happened here,” he continued.

Gamliel stated it was their “moral obligation to the public is to locate those responsible for the event,” in accordance to the assertion.

“We have the possibility of suing the insurance company of the ship that is responsible for the pollution and we will do everything to locate it,” she stated.

In a separate assertion posted to her Twitter account, Gamliel stated, “We are making every effort to find those responsible for the disaster, and we will bring to the government’s approval tomorrow a proposal for resolutions to rehabilitate the environment.”

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