March 13, 2021

Separate spots of deposits of black tar were seen on the northern Sidon beach on Saturday after an oil spill out at sea last month from the side of Israel.

Head of the Sidon municipality, Mohammed al-Saudi said separate spots of black tar have spread along Sidon’s beach, mainly in the north side of the city facing the public beach.

Over 90% of Israel’s 195 kilometer (120 mile) Mediterranean coastline was covered in an estimated 1,000 tons of black tar in February.

The pollution has swept north to Lebanon and has caused extensive damage to the ecosystem, killing seabirds, endangered green sea turtles and other marine life.

Al-Saudi told people it was too risky to go to the beach, as competent teams will be instructed to conduct a survey and determine the damage.

President Michel Aoun had urged a full survey of Lebanon’ territorial waters after the oil spill from Israel.

Israel had said it received no prior warning before an estimated 1,000 tons of tar started washing up on shore earlier in February.

An Israeli court barred publication of all details of the investigation, including the name of the suspected ship believed to have spilled the oil, its route and ports of call. An Israeli journalists’ association petitioned the court on Tuesday to have the order lifted.