Israel to Receive Compensation for Oil Spill

A member of the cleanup operation showing a tar-covered marine creature collected from the Palmachim beach following a massive oil spill off the Israeli coastline, February 22. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel will receive compensation for damages suffered to its beaches from a massive oil spill in February, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

The London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund approves Israel’s request for compensation, though the amount was not specified in the report.

An Environmental Protection Ministry investigation determined that the leak took place approximately 80 miles from Israel’s shores, and that it originated from a Syrian-owned ship, the Emerald, which, it was later learned was not insured.

Tar from the leak washed up on beaches from Rosh Hanikra in the far north to Nitzanim in the south, contaminating wildlife and rendering the shoreline unfit for swimming. The sale of Mediterranean fish was temporarily suspended and beaches did not begin to reopen until March 7.

Thousands of volunteers answered a call to help with the large-scale cleanup operation.

It was reportedly one of the worst ecological disasters the country has seen, and the long-term damage to ecosystems still remains to be assessed.

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