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

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 66.5%. 2 min read.

Israeli authorities are trying to locate the source of a suspected oil spill that has been described as one of the most severe ecological disasters to hit the country, threatening wildlife, forcing beaches to close and prompting a mass cleanup.

(CNN)Israeli authorities are trying to locate the source of a suspected oil spill that has been described as one of the most severe ecological disasters to hit the country, threatening wildlife, forcing beaches to close and prompting a mass cleanup.

"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 country's Nature and Parks Authority said Sunday.

The extent of the pollution is so bad, Israel's Ministry of Interior issued an advisory Sunday urging people to stay away from the country's beaches.

A massive cleanup is underway but the Nature and Parks Authority said it would take a long time to make the marine area safe again.

"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 said.

It warned that the spill had not yet been contained as tar continues to wash up on the country's beaches.

"Out of 190 kilometers (119 miles) of beach in Israel, 170 kilometers (105 miles) were hit by the ecological disaster," the authority said on its Facebook page Sunday.

We must maintain our beaches, our country and the environment," Netanyahu said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's office.

Gamliel said it was their "moral obligation to the public is to locate those responsible for the event," according to the statement.

"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 said.

In a separate statement posted to her Twitter account, Gamliel said, "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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