The Environmental Protection Ministry is investigating the report and its credibility.

Tar pollution on the shore of Israel  (photo credit: CEO OF THE NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY SHAUL GOLDSTEIN)
Tar pollution on the shore of Israel (photo credit: CEO OF THE NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY SHAUL GOLDSTEIN)


Satellite footage obtained on Friday morning points to a possible new oil slick in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea that may reach Israel’s shores.The Environmental Protection Ministry has announced that it is investigating the report and its credibility. 

“Whenever the ministry receives a report that contains information requiring an investigation, it uses all tools at its disposal to either verify or rule it out. This case is no different.

The ministry is investigating all relevant entities in Israel and abroad. If the investigation leads to reasonable suspicion of a new oil slick, the ministry will take the necessary actions, according to the national plan for responding to oil pollution,” the Environmental Protection Ministry stated in response to a Maariv inquiry. 

Earlier on Friday, new data published by the ministry revealed that the Shikmona beach located in northern Israel is the only beach in the country currently defined as “red,” meaning that it suffers from mid to high levels of contamination, caused by additional lumps of tar that washed up on its shores earlier today. Cleaning Israel’s beaches from such tar continued throughout the day, with a concentrated effort taken in Haifa’s southern beaches. Thanks to swift actions taken by the local authorities, the Environmental Protection Ministry and the many volunteers, some beaches are already showing signs of rehabilitation, with very low levels of contamination. 

The ministry explained in a statement that the oceans currents carry with them leftover tar slicks, especially in areas close to beaches – similar to what happened yesterday in the southern beaches of Haifa and Hof HaCarmel, and in Shikmona beach earlier today. Similar incident may occur in limited scopes in the coming days along Israel’s beaches, depending on the direction of currents and to changes in the ocean’s water level.