Following a petition by a number of media outlets, the Magistrate’s Court in Haifa today (Tuesday) partially lifted the restraining order on the investigation of the tar disaster. Meanwhile, the government approved the allocation of NIS 45 million for the treatment of coastal pollution, the removal of waste to landfills and the restoration of the status quo.
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We can now announce that according to information that has reached the N12, one of the suspicious ships is a tanker called the Minerva Helen carrying the Greek flag. She left the port of Port Said on February 11 and sailed for the State of Israel. She allegedly dumped the oil into the sea and then turned around and returned to another port in Egypt. Now the ship ships in the port of Cartagena in Spain.
Following the removal of the order, the Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a clarification statement that “it did not have any prior warning or prior identification from any international or Israeli entity before the tar landed on the shores of Israel on February 17, and any other claim is incorrect.”
The ministry clarified that they learned of the incident only when the tar reached the beaches on Wednesday, February 17th. “This is an incident of environmental crime that allegedly took place more than 50 kilometers off the coast of Israel, outside its territorial waters,” they noted.
Meanwhile, the government approved Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposal and Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel to allocate NIS 45 million to treat coastal pollution, remove waste to landfills and restore the status quo ante.
The special budget allocated to the treatment of coastal pollution will be used for the following purposes:
• Assistance to local authorities and the Nature and National Parks Authority, which owns beaches in the Mediterranean, which were damaged in the tar incident (up to NIS 250,000 per kilometer of shoreline), for the treatment of pollution on beaches, including animals affected by it. Of this amount, an advance will be transferred as immediate assistance in the amount of NIS 62.5 thousand.
• Carrying out transportation, handling and removal of tar from the temporary storage sites on the beaches to the end destinations.
• Conducting surveys and studies, environmental economic analyzes, monitoring and documentation of the extent and intensity of damage, the rehabilitation process and testing the use of innovative means to rehabilitate the coastal, marine environment and its biodiversity, among other things to improve treatment and response in similar cases in the future.
In addition, it was decided that the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Finance will discuss the fund’s budget of NIS 25 million, in order to enable the fund to respond to an event of this magnitude in the future, as well as to enable the fund’s ongoing operations and future uses.
It was also decided that a committee would be set up, headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection David Yahalomi or his representative, and with the participation of a representative of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Director General of the Ministry of Finance, or their representatives, who would recommend Ways of dealing with maritime disaster scenarios and preparing for their prevention – including the meaning in the standards and budget for this purpose.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that “this is a huge ecological disaster of a thousand tons of oil and tar being piled up on our shores. We must act quickly, before it seeps into the ground, especially in rocky areas and this is damage that will stay with us for many years. That is why we are acting quickly and we have now approved the plan that I brought together with the Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel. This budget assistance will help save our beaches. We will protect our beaches, we will protect our environment. ‘
Minister Gila Gamliel said: “We organized in a very quick time to allow for the allocation of significant sums of money to the coastal local authorities and the Nature and Parks Authority. We will do everything we can to repair the ecological damage, return to enjoy Israel’s beautiful beaches and open the upcoming bathing season.” “A national complex to apprehend and severely punish the culprits.”
According to the court decision, it is still forbidden to publish the names of the ships beyond those already published by tomorrow at 16:00. Also, any detail related to the interrogation methods or originating from the Investigation Authority may not be published until February 28. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/the-restraining-order-on-the-investigation-of-the-tar-disaster-has-been-lifted-these-are-the-new-details.html
The judge allowed the publication of “any detail that originates in an independent investigation conducted by the media and that does not originate in any investigative authority.”
“Media investigations can assist the investigating authorities in carrying out their work, and this should not be seen as a matter that could interfere with the execution of the work,” Judge Zayed Falah wrote. “Although I have banned the media and any other entity from publishing anything from the investigative authority, I allow the investigative authorities to use the data that came up in the independent investigations of the media, as far as they are there to assist in the investigation.”
The judge added: “It follows from the above that in fact the investigative authorities can be fed by the investigations that the media do to promote their investigation. This does not allow, directly or implicitly, to contact the media for any material or information. “
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