Monday, March 1

Oil spill in Israel and Lebanon, clean-up operations will last for months

An oil spill has contaminated the Israeli coast, for several days forcing thousands of volunteers and soldiers to come and clean the beaches. Tar pellets have been found along 170 of Israel’s 190 kilometers of coastline and even as far as Lebanon. For the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, this is one of Israel’s most serious environmental disasters.

Ariela Rosenzweig, a veterinarian at Ramat Gan Safari Hospital, who took in polluted animals, testified:

“Every animal suffered from something. All of them swallowed or were soaked in tar. Unfortunately, these stories of animals being victims of human behavior is something that we see a lot.”

Authorities are still investigating this oil spill, which allegedly occurred offshore between February 6 and February 10.

The ministry and environmental groups estimate that at least 1,000 tonnes of tar have been dumped on the coast.

The cleaning of the coasts should take months.

And further north, tar deposits started to accumulate in southern Lebanon. The coastal nature reserve of the city of Tire is also affected by the oil spill.

It is one of the last sandy beaches in Lebanon and an important nesting site for the endangered green and loggerhead sea turtles.

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