חוף עתלית
A concentration of tar off the coast of Atlit in northern Israel caused by the oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month
Photo: Reuters
A concentration of tar off the coast of Atlit in northern Israel caused by the oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month

Israel widens search for oil spill culprit after ruling out ship in Greece

The investigation focuses on an unidentified ship that passed about 50 km (30 miles) off the coast on February 11 as the likely source of what environmental groups are calling an ecological disaster that could take years to clean up

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 02.28.21 , 13:56
Israel on Sunday broadened its search for the ship behind an oil spill that blackened its beaches with tar after investigators ruled out one of the suspected tankers.
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  • An Israeli team, in coordination with Greek authorities, carried out a surprise inspection of the Minerva Helen while it was docked at Athens' Piraeus port. The ship is no longer suspected of being responsible for the spill, said Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חוף עתלית
    חוף עתלית
    A concentration of tar off the coast of Atlit in northern Israel caused by the oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Minerva Helen's operator had denied any connection to the oil spill.
    Israel's investigation has focused on an unidentified ship that passed about 50 km (30 miles) off the coast on Feb. 11 as the likely source of what environmental groups are calling an ecological disaster that could take years to clean up.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    שילמו בחייהם. צבים שנפגעו מהזפת בחוף דור
    שילמו בחייהם. צבים שנפגעו מהזפת בחוף דור
    Turtles found dead from pollution caused by the oil spill off the cost of Israel earlier this month
    (Photo: Yosef Segal )
    While thousands of volunteers and soldiers continued to clean the country's beaches from clumps of sticky black tar and save marine wildlife, Israel reiterated its determination to find those responsible.
    The environment ministry, which has been working with European agencies, initially identified 10 ships for investigation. A number of these have since been ruled out and the ministry said it has broadened the search to include dozens of vessels.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    ניקיון הזפת שנסחפה לחופי תל אביב
    ניקיון הזפת שנסחפה לחופי תל אביב
    A volunteer collects remnants of tar from the Tel Aviv beach after an oil spill caused an ecological disaster earlier this month
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "The oil spill had a source. We will not ignore the environmental crime and we will take every measure to locate the criminal," Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said.
    On Saturday the Airforce confirmed it had detected another suspected oil spill making its way towards the Israeli shore 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the coast. The military aircraft were dispatched at the request of the Ministry for the Environment that had come under fire for failing to identify the ecological threat posed by the spill earlier in the month and to protect the shoreline from its effects.


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