JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has closed its Mediterranean beaches following an offshore oil spill that has devastated the country's coastline in what officials are calling one of the country's worst ecological disasters.
The Environmental Protection, Health and Interior Ministries issued a joint statement Sunday warning the public not to visit beaches.
Activists began reporting globs of black tar on Israel's coast last week after a heavy storm washed the petroleum byproducts ashore, wreaking havoc on wildlife.
Researchers have determined that a dead juvenile fin whale that washed up on a beach in southern Israel died from ingesting toxic tar.
The exact cause of the spill has yet to be determined and is currently under investigation by Israeli environmental officials.