The black tar stretches along Israel’s coastline for about 100 miles. Coming from an unknown source, the tar has created “one of the worst environmental disasters to hit Israel in a decade,” according to Shaul Goldstein, head of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. “A joint advisory issued by the Health, Interior, and Environmental Protection called on the public not to go to the beaches to swim, or do sports, or leisure activity until further notice.”

The spill has impacted several species of sea creatures, including a 55 foot fin whale that washed up on the shore, dead. Also, some volunteers who came to the site to aid in the clean up became ill “and were hospitalized after apparently inhaling toxic fumes.”

In a joint effort, The Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and Nature and Parks Authority head Shaul Goldstein have agreed “that starting this week thousands of IDF soldiers will assist workers and volunteers for the Nature and Parks Authority in mapping areas damaged by the tar pollution, cleaning beaches, and in the removal of pollutants, according to a joint statement.”

This tragedy, its source, consequence, and cleanup demands, requires our prayer. Pray for all the volunteers hospitalized, for the source of the tar to be found, and for the authorities of the IDF and the Nature and Parks as they map and seek to strategize a safe, effective clean up plan.

(Source: Sue Surkes; The Times of Israel)