PETROLEUM SPILL LEAD ISRAEL TO CLOSE BEACHES

The cause of the spill remains to be determined and is being investigated by Israeli environmental experts.

An oil spill occurred on the high seas, this Sunday caused a real environmental disaster that was felt on the coast of Israel. This incident took tons of tar to the beaches that fill the nearly 200 km of Israeli coast and the country was forced to close all beaches in order to try to respond to this disaster.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has classified the spill as «one of the most serious ecological disasters» in the country’s history. The cause of the spill remains to be determined and is being investigated by Israeli environmental experts. On Saturday, volunteers headed to the beaches to help catch the tar and several had to be hospitalized after inhaling toxic gases.

Thus, the Ministries of Environmental Protection, Health and Interior issued this Sunday a joint statement warning the population not to visit the 195 kilometers of the country’s Mediterranean coast, warning that “exposure to tar can be harmful to public health” .

According to Kan, Israel’s public television station, investigators at the country’s Ministry of Agriculture concluded that a young fin whale that appeared dead on a beach in southern Israel died from ingestion of the viscous black liquid.

The Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, estimated to the Hebrew media that cleaning will cost tens of millions of shekels (Israeli currency). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited one of the country’s tar-strewn beaches and praised the ministry’s work.

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