Gloves stained with oil
Gloves stained with oiliStock

Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry suspects that there is a crude oil stain in the Mediterranean Sea, stretching from near Rishon Lezion to Netanya.

The discovery was made thanks to a notice the Ministry received Tuesday evening from the satellite monitoring system of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) regarding a stain on the water approximately 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) west of Tel Aviv.

Observation flights found nothing on Monday, but an additional flight executed by the IDF to examine the spot found stains suspected of being crude oil. These stains were discovered approximately 20-40 kilometers (12.4-24.8 miles) west of Israel's beaches, opposite the strip of beach stretching from Rishon Lezion to Netanya.

The Environmental Protection Ministry said, "At this stage, in light of the geographic location and the fast movement, and in order to prepare in the best way possible, the Environmental Protection Ministry has ordered preparations for a Level 3 national event. There is potential for a large pollution event at sea, on a national or regional scale."

The statement added that the Ministry opened a control center in Haifa, which includes all of the relevant bodies, and that a situational assessment was held on Tuesday.