Jerusalem -Benjamin Netanyahu toured the afflicted area nearly one week following the oil spill in the Arava,  and said that at the moment the situation appeared to be “under control.”

“Everyone’s big concern,” he said, “is a loss of control by large floods that can take the oil south to Eilat and the Eilat Gulf. Actions were taken here to prevent that, and up until now they have succeeded.”

Netanyahu received briefings and said the goal of the clean-up efforts were to preserve public health, work to minimize that danger of pollution reaching Eilat, and rebuild the nature preserve.

The oil spill occurred last Wednesday close to the town of Be’er Ora, approximately 20 km. north of Eilat, and has badly damaged the Evrona Nature Reserve.

The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) revealed that the spill, caused by a breach during maintenance work, saw 5 million liters of crude oil spill out of the pipeline – much larger than an initial estimate of 1.5 million liters.

The Environment Protection Ministry issued a statement Tuesday and said that despite the rainfall in the southern Arava region, the crude oil did not flow outside the area that has already been contaminated.