Thousands of Soldiers to Help in Coastal Cleanup

Clumps of tar are seen on the sand an after an offshore oil spill drenched much of Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline with tar, at a beach in Ashdod. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Thousands of IDF soldiers will be deployed to assist in the massive cleanup of Israel’s beaches in the wake of the worst environmental disaster in many years, Globes reported on Sunday.

The soldiers are to work alongside volunteers and employees from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority in mapping the damaged areas, in cleaning up the tar from the beaches, and in disposing of the debris.

Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi and Israel Nature and Parks Authority director Shaul Goldstein announced the agreement on Sunday after an appeal from the mayor of Herzliya for state assistance.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest ecological disasters since the state was founded. I have declared a state of emergency in Herzliya. From Ashkelon to Rosh Hanikra, hundreds of tons of tar have washed up on our beaches. I call on the government to declare a coastal disaster and to give us the budget necessary to deal with this incident,” Herzliya mayor Moshe Fadlon told Globes.

The Herzliya municipality was reportedly conducting a beach cleaning exercise on Sunday involving all municipal workers and hundreds of school pupils who have been recruited in the disaster.

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