Lebanon has blamed “a ship of the Israeli enemy” for the country’s worst marine ecological disaster since 2006, following an oil leak in the Mediterranean.
Al Arabiya reports that Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, has deputed the Ministers of Defence and Environment, as well as the National Council for Scientific Research, to investigate the oil leak, and to keep the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Informed, regarding the incident.
The Director of Programs at Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa, Julian Jreissati, said that Lebanon’s Ministry of Environment should immediately assess the magnitude of the risk of the spill. Jreissati added, “The authorities must develop a quick plan to reduce the impacts on the environment and public health, and provide safety instructions to the Lebanese people, especially concerning fishing and swimming activities.” He also said that the incident was a “manifestation of the destruction of nature resulting from the addiction of the global systems to fossil fuels.”
The last massive oil spill in the region occurred during the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, after Israel bombed a power station in Lebanon. This resulted in what’s estimated to have been 30 000 tons of oil having leaked into the Mediterranean. Al Arabiya reports that a 10 kilometre wide oil slick covered 170 kilometres of coastline, reaching both Turkey and Cyprus.
In 2014, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution requesting Israel pay over $850 million in damages to Lebanon. Israel rejected the resolution, claiming that it served no purpose other than to contribute to “institutionalizing an anti-Israel agenda at the UN.”
Umm Muhammed Umar