In a surprise move, a Haifa court on Monday imposed a seven-day gag order on the ongoing investigation into the massive oil spill that devastated Israel’s Mediterranean coast over the weekend, according to Hebrew media reports.

The order prohibits the publication of any details of the investigation, including the name of the ship, company or individuals involved, as well as the ship’s point of origin, destination and cargo, until Sunday.

The order followed a request from Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry, which claimed in its appeal to the court that publication of these details could jeopardize what it said was a delicate investigation with international dimensions. The ministry was joined in the request by the National Unit for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Green Police.

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The ministry estimates that dozens of tons of oil spilled into the sea late last week due to stormy weather and that close to 160 kilometers (99 miles) of Israel’s shoreline have been affected. The ministry has asked the public to refrain from visiting the country’s beaches until further notice, warning that the tar that has washed up can be dangerous. A number of volunteers cleaning the beaches were reportedly hospitalized over the weekend after inhaling toxic fumes from the spill.

Before the gag order was put in place, Israeli media speculated that the ship belonged to a nearby friendly country, to which it has possibly already returned. Read more at JNS