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Environment minister says Israel has found ship responsible for oil spill

Soldiers clean tar off the Palmachim beach following an offshore oil spill which drenched most of the Israeli coastline, February 22, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)`
Soldiers clean tar off the Palmachim beach following an offshore oil spill which drenched most of the Israeli coastline, February 22, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)`

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel says investigators have pinpointed the ship responsible for the massive oil spill that coated Israel’s coastline with tar last month.

“We placed our hands on the criminal ship,” Gamliel says in a tweet, without providing further details on the investigation.

“Our long arm will reach everyone who harms our nature, the sea and our beaches,” she adds.

Tar contamination has affected 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Mediterranean coastline’s 195 kilometers (121 miles), with tar still washing up on many beaches. It has also polluted beaches in Lebanon.

Gamliel said Monday that the ministry had investigated 35 vessels over recent days.

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