Jerusalem District Court Judge Eli Abarbanel on Tuesday evening issued a temporary injunction preventing Noble Energy from undertaking activities on the Leviathan platform that are "subject to gas emissions."
The judge said that Noble Energy and the Ministry of Environmental Protection had not been able to disprove claims that emission could do irreversible damage to the health of the public.
The ruling in effect freezes the emission permit granted to Noble Energy by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The ruling is temporary and follows a petition by green groups and six local councils which are located near the offshore platform. The court will discuss the matter again on Sunday.
An estimated 50 tons of polluting materials including benzene are emitted by the platform in an eight hour period.
The petitioning authorities are the local councils of Zichron Yaakov, Jisr az-Zarqa and Pardes Hanna-Karkur, and the Megiddo and Emek Hefer regional councils.
The Leviathan group said in response that "they have received the Honorable Court's decision and are studying it with intent and are ready to discharge the gas from Leviathan as soon as possible."