Authorities were still searching for the cause of a mysterious chemical odor that enveloped central Israel on Thursday, discounting reports that it originated in chemical ground disinfection operations in the south of the Sharon region.

The Environmental Protection Ministry on Thursday denied a report from Home Front Command saying that drilling was the source of a mysterious chemical smell in the Tel Aviv region.

"We are not dealing with rumors," the spokesman said. "There is no gas drilling in Nitzanim. The army is just saying it."

He added that the ministry is still looking into the problem, hoping to find its source with 100% accuracy, but said there is no telling when they will know for sure


Chemical attack?
A resident of Bnei Zion described the odor as "the smell of poison, a chemical smell, similar to that of pesticide."
"Are we under a chemical attack? The smell lingers in the air. I am throwing up and having trouble breathing," she added.