Israeli authorities are working with the European Union to track down a ship resposible for one of the worst oil spills to hit the country’s shorelines in decades.
A suspected ship leak off the coast of Israel 10 days ago has led to Israel’s biggest maritime ecological disaster in many years, with authorities closing the country’s beaches and beginning a massive cleanup effort.
Israeli authorities are working with European officials to review satellite images of ships that passed through the area.
The European Union monitors the location of oil slicks in the Mediterranean using information from a network of weather satellites.
Scientists can then use ocean current and weather data to track the source of the tar that washed up along Israel’s coastline.
The environmental protection minister, Gila Gamliel, said over the weekend that nine ships that were in the area at the time were being looked at.
“There is a more than reasonable chance that we will be able to locate the specific ship,” she told Ynet TV.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Gamliel visited a beach in the southern port city of Ashdod on Sunday to inspect the damage.
Gamliel in a tweet 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.”
The environmental protection ministry and activists estimate that at least 1,000 tonnes of tar have already washed up onshore along more than 100 km of coastline.