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Bombed oil tanks cover Lebanon's shoreline in black slick

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Issue: 13 Section: International News Geography: Middle East Lebanon, Israel Topics: water, summer war

July 30, 2006

Bombed oil tanks cover Lebanon's shoreline in black slick

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

Fifteen thousand tons of oil are washing ashore in Lebanon, creating an environmental and humanitarian disaster that the country's Environment Minister, Yacoub Sarraf, called "a catastrophe I wouldn't wish on any country in the world," reports the LA Times. Israel's bombing of six storage tanks 30 km south of Beirut has resulted in a massive slick all the way up the coast.

Joseph Chaloub, a 55-year-old fisherman, told the Inter Press Service, "the problem is there is no cleanup, and then there is the Israeli blockade. It's a catastrophe. People have lost their livelihood." The Israeli naval blockade of Lebanon is stopping boats leaving the coast or coming in to Lebanon.

The Daily Star reports that the spill will also affect tourism because many private and public beaches have been polluted and the cleanup is expected to take a very long time.

Sarraf has appealed to the UN Mediterranean Action Plan environmental program in Athens for help with the cleanup. But the program's co-ordinator, Paul Mifsud, said nothing could be done until the fighting had ended.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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