Monday, December 08, 2014

Israel's Greatest Ecological Catastrophe Unfolding in Arava Desert

The crude oil spill in the Arava Desert, southern Israel, is 'twice as bad as initially estimated,' according to the Israeli Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company....

"The volume of crude oil that spilled into the Arava Desert last week is 60 percent larger than the amount that was originally reported, the company responsible for the pipeline acknowledged on Sunday night," Haaretz, the Israeli news agency reported.
Although the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) initially reported of a spill between one million and 1.5 million liters, it later revised its calculation to three million liters. However, the company reported on Sunday a report issued by the company on Sunday has revealed that some five million liters of crude oil spilled out of the pipeline last Thursday, December 4.

"We were skeptical about the figures provided by the company from the start," a ministry official said on December 8, as cited by Haaretz.

Meanwhile damage control teams have already removed 13,000 tons of polluted soil in order to reduce the impact of the pipeline leak.

The Times of Israel notes that according to weather forecasts heavy rainfall is expected in the region later this week. It has sparked concerns among ministry officials over the possibility of further contamination of the area, including the Gulf of Eilat, home to rare coral reefs, which could be damaged by the leak, the media outlet stresses.

Haaretz notes, however, that dams are being erected in order to prevent the oil flowing into this area.

"It's the biggest ecological disaster Israel has seen. This is because of the material itself, crude oil, which is particularly hard to flush out, and the location of the spill [on the reserve]," Gilad Golub of Israel's Environmental Services Company told Agence France Presse.

The Times of Israel notes that Eilat residents have already filed a lawsuit against the pipeline operators referring to the tremendous environmental damage caused through negligence.

"Mellish is demanding NIS 220 million ($55m) to rehabilitate the environment in coordination with the Environment Minster and the Israel Nature and Parks authority, as well as another NIS 180 million ($45m) for the 48,000 residents of Eilat for damage to their health and discomfort caused by the ecological disaster," the media outlet reports.

More than 80 people on both sides of the Israel-Jordan border have complained about health problems caused by the spill.



  1. UN: Israel must pay Lebanon 850 million Dollars ...

    The UN General Assembly approved on Saturday a resolution calling on Israel to pay Lebanon more than $850 million for damages caused by an oil spill allegedly resulting from attacks by the IDF on oil storage tanks during the Second Lebanon War.

    The resolution, which was past by a vote of 170 countries supporting and only six opposing, does not obligate Israel to pay...............

    1. Israel rejects UN demand to pay Lebanon $850 million for 2006 oil spill ...

      Israel has strongly rejected a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling on it to pay Lebanon over $850 million in damages for an oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack on oil storage tanks during its war with Hezbollah in July 2006.

      "It's the sort of UN decision that we're used to, mixing alternative history, manipulation politicization and self-interested narrow-mindedness," the Israeli mission to the UN said in a statement issued on Friday night.

      "The UN has never stopped to check the cost of the war on Israel. Apart from the heavy cost in lives, the war caused huge environmental damage in the north of the country. All that, without even mentioning that the war was a consequence of a terrorist organization, Hezbollah," the statement continued.

      "The time has come for the UN to look around and notice the real sources of the threats against it."

      The assembly voted 170-6 in favor of the resolution on Friday, with three abstentions. Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted against the resolution.

      General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion............


Only News

EL News

Blog Widget by LinkWithin