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Almost 1,000 Israelis protest gas rig in world record-mass surfing paddle-out

992-strong protest has been submitted to Guinness World Records

Hundreds of Israeli surfers in black skull-and-crossbones shirts took to the waves on Friday in what they said was a record-breaking protest against potential environmental damage from offshore gas development.

Organisers said 992 people, among them athletes and actors, paddled out and held hands to form a circle opposite Herzliya, promoting their demand that a planned gas rig be relocated further from Israel's Mediterranean coast.

A slogan on their shirts read: "Don't poison us."

Israeli authorities say the new platform poses no environment or health threat.

Friday's event would be submitted to Guinness World Records for recognition, organisers said. Guinness currently lists a 511-person circle of surfers off Huntingdon Beach, California last year as the world-record "surfing paddle-out".

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