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Sea still spits oil 6 months after war

Once again, israel proves to the world that it has a remarkable penchant for destruction.

On Beirut's sun-splashed Ramlet al-Bayda beach, a human chain passed buckets filled with large black chunks -- mixtures of fuel oil, sand and debris -- which were emptied by a volunteer into large white watertight bags.

"It's sad," muttered a fisherman who works for the association, running his fingers over dozens of seashells mucked together in a sticky glob.

The coast was polluted by around 15,000 tonnes of fuel oil after the Israeli military bombed Lebanon's southern Jiyeh power plant in mid-July during its 34-day offensive against the Shiite militia Hezbollah.

This was a war crime, btw. Bombing the powerplant served no cognizable military purpose.

Since then, local and international civic groups and the Lebanese environment ministry have been waging a long battle against the black sludge that seeped into the sea.

A recent report by the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre said "virtually all free oil at sea or in the harbours and marinas had been recovered by the end of September (2006)". And the historic port of Byblos north of the capital has filled anew with fishermen.

But many beaches like Jiyeh and Ramlet al-Bayda continue to fight the pollution.

Greenpeace has described the spill, which polluted about 150 kilometres (93 miles) of the Lebanese coast, as an "underwater nightmare" and a "timebomb" because oil had sunk to the seabed. The environmental group has estimated it will take at least a year to clean . . .

what took israel less than a day to cause.

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