Following the publication of this post, the Daily Mail has also repeated the lie as outlined below. When notified of the error, the Daily Mail, made amendments to the story giving equal weight to both the Palestinian lie and the Israeli truth before correcting the error as a result of correspondence with HonestReporting. Read more in “Dam Busted Pt2: More Dam Lies.”
* * *
The recent stormy weather in Israel and the vicinity has seen widespread flooding in Gaza. For the Palestinians and their media supporters, however, it isn’t enough to blame heavy rain. There has to be some way to blame Israel.
At least 80 Palestinian homes have been flooded after water levels in the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) rose to almost three meters, forcing families to evacuate after Israeli authorities opened several dams….
Brigadier Gerneral Said Al-Saudi, chief of the civil defence agency in Gaza, told Al Jazeera: “Israel opened water dams, without warning, last night, causing serious damage to Gazan villages near the border. More than 40 homes were flooded and 80 families are currently in shelters as a result.”
He added that the dam opening would adversely affect local agriculture as the flooded area included Gazan poultry and animal farms.
“We are appealing to human rights organisations and international rights organisations to intervene to prevent further such action.”
This is not the first time Israeli authorities have opened the Gaza Valley dams. Almost every year without prior notice, Israel opens the floodgates to their dams in the direction of Gaza to discharge massive quantities of excessive water that accumulated during heavy rains or snowfall in the Naqab region.
Gaza civil defense services spokesman Muhammad al-Midana warned that further harm could be caused if Israel opens up more dams in the area, noting that water is currently flowing at a high speed from the Israel border through the valley and into the Mediterranean sea.
Of course, this story has made the rounds of anti-Israel social media. It is, however, easily debunked as a complete lie. As the Spokesperson’s Office of the unit of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) relayed to HonestReporting:
The claim is entirely false, and southern Israel does not have any dams. Due to the recent rain, streams were flooded throughout the region with no connection to actions taken by the State of Israel.
Prior to the storm, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories allowed the transfer of four water pumps belonging to the Palestinian Water Authority from Israel into Gaza to supplement the 13 pumps already in the Gaza Strip in dealing with any potential flooding throughout the area.
This isn’t the first time that the Palestinians have spread this lie, the most recent example in 2013 during a similar period of bad weather.
Looks like the Palestinians and those media outlets who parroted the lie have been dam busted.
Even the Chinese news agency Xinhua has repeated the lie. Xinhua’s Jerusalem bureau has been informed.
Featured image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting with background designed by Freepik