Oil spill stains Israeli shoreline; investigations underway

Hundreds of volunteers took part Saturday in a cleanup operation of the Israeli shoreline as investigations are underway to determine the cause of an oil spill that threatens the beach and wildlife.

Israeli media reported that several volunteers were hospitalized after inhaling fumes. Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority urged people to stay away from the beach at 16 of the communities that are most polluted.

From as north as Haifa and down south to Ashkelon near Gaza, black strips could be seen along the Mediterranean coastline. At Gador Nature Reserve near the northern city of Hadera, the tar smeared fish, turtles, and other sea creatures.

The reason and timing of the spill are yet to be determined, but stormy weather earlier this week is believed to have pushed the pollutants ashore. On Thursday, a baby whale washed up dead on a beach near Tel Aviv, and authorities investigating whether the two incidents are linked

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