Sunday, February 22, 2015

  • Sunday, February 22, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
Hundreds of Palestinians were evacuated from their homes Sunday morning after Israeli authorities opened a number of dams near the border, flooding the Gaza Valley in the wake of a recent severe winter storm.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that civil defense services and teams from the Ministry of Public Works had evacuated more than 80 families from both sides of the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) after their homes flooded as water levels reached more than three meters.

Gaza has experienced flooding in recent days amid a major storm that saw temperatures drop and frigid rain pour down.

The storm displaced dozens and caused hardship for tens of thousands, including many of the approximately 110,000 Palestinians left homeless by Israel's assault over summer.

The Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) is a wetland located in the central Gaza Strip between al-Nuseirat refugee camp and al-Moghraqa. It is called HaBesor in Hebrew, and it flows from two streams -- one whose source runs from near Beersheba, and the other from near Hebron.

Israeli dams on the river to collect rainwater have dried up the wetlands inside Gaza, and destroyed the only source of surface water in the area.

Locals have continued to use it to dispose of their waste for lack of other ways to do so, however, creating an environmental hazard.

This is not the first time Israeli authorities have opened the Gaza Valley dams.

In Dec. 2013, Israeli authorities also opened the dams amid heavy flooding in the Gaza Strip. The resulting floods damaged dozens of homes and forces many families in the area from their homes.

In 2010, the dams were opened as well, forcing 100 families from their homes. At the time civil defense services said that they had managed to save seven people who had been at risk of drowning.
So my January prediction that Gazans would blame Israel for flooding was a month early.

In previous years I searched for these dams that the Jews keep opening. I finally found the "dam" - a reservoir in Nahal Oz whose walls failed once in 2001. (There are couple of similar reservoirs around Gaza, others throughout the Negev, and many tiny "limans" to create mini-oases.)

Here is a satellite image of this reservoir, so you can compare it with the size of Gaza itself and determine on your own whether it can create floods three meters high through central Gaza by someone opening its floodgates:



UPDATE: The official PA "news" agency Wafa goes beyond this, saying Israel is pumping water into Gaza!

The Israeli authorities last night pumped large amounts of rainwater into the Gaza Strip, causing tens of neighboring homes to sink, according to witnesses and media sources.

Civil Defense said about 50 homes sank in the floods, while a number of local residents in eastern Gaza areas were reported injured. There were also reports of deaths of livestock and poultry.

“The [Israeli] army opened the floodgates of a canal leading to central Gaza, which resulted in the removal of sand mounds along the border with Israel,” Gaza's Civil Defense Directorate said in a statement.
(h/t Bob K)

UPDATE 2: AFP has shown how little journalistic integrity it has by picking up the Ma'an story without doing any fact checking. Meaning that they are parroting Hamas spokesmen.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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