Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan announced he was launching a criminal investigation on Thursday night concerning the mysterious chlorine-like stench overtook the residents of the Gush Dan that morning and afternoon.
As of Thursday night, however, the ministry still had yet to uncover what the source of the smell actually was.
By very early afternoon, the Environmental Protection Ministry reported that its staff members had been taking measurements all over the region, and while they had not yet identified the source, it was not hazardous to public health. Measurements continued throughout the day, and by 5 p.m., the office said that complaints of odors had ceased, but that tests would continue until inspectors could identify the source of the odor with 100 percent certainty.
After people began reporting pungent odors in their areas, a number of Hebrew media outlets initially wrote that the source of the smell was gas drilling in Nitzanim, citing information provided by the Home Front Command to the local authorities.
However, a spokesman from the Environmental Protection Ministry denied these allegations, telling The Jerusalem Post, “We are not dealing with rumors. There is no gas drilling in Nitzanim – the army is just saying it.”