The Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline was damaged today during work by heavy machinery. From Haaretz:
A large amount of gas leaked into the Nahal Tzin Nature Preserve in the Negev after a major Eilat pipeline burst on Wednesday. The leak caused major damage to the southern Israel nature preserve’s wildlife. The pipe burst when the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) was performing maintenance work in the Tzin Valley. While EAPAC was working in the nature preserve, a pipeline collapsed, resulting in the leakage of a large amount of crude oil into Nahal Tzin. The leak may have caused damage to the nature preserve’s water sources. Eli Amitai, the director-general of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, has called on all available teams from the authority to arrive on the scene of the leak as soon as possible. They have already successfully prevented the further spread of the oil-leak and efforts are currently underway to clean up the preserve. The area surrounding the Nahal Tzin Nature Preserve has been closed off to hikers.
The full story is here. Ynet News reports the story here. In the Bible, the Nahal Zin constituted part of the southern border of the land God gave to Israel (Num 34:3). UPDATE: The Jerusalem Post has more details, including several quotes from Parks officials about the severity of the spill. Nahal Zin