Did Israel Deliberately Flood Gaza?

It has been reported in the past several days, by Ma’an News and on several websites including this one, that Israel may have opened one or more dams resulting in the severe flooding we have seen in Gaza and further exacerbated conditions already made dire by the onslaught of winter storm Alexa. This at any rate is the charge that has been made by the Gaza government’s Disaster Response Committee and its chairman, Yasser Shanti.

So far I myself have heard no official response from Israel either confirming or denying. However, the following is reported by the Middle East Monitor:

According to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the rainfall led to a lot of excess water which couldn’t drain away, so “the Israeli authorities resorted to discharging the excess water into the Gaza Strip.”

I could not find this reported on Ynet’s English website, but it’s possible it was reported in the Hebrew edition. So was a dam released? All we have to go on is the statement by Shanti, accompanied, of course, by the shocking images we have seen of inundated streets, flooded homes, and people paddling in boats. But I did come across this video and thought I would share it. If it turns out that a dam or floodgate of some sort was deliberately released, it apparently would not be without precedent. The following was reported by Press TV in January of 2010—and take special note of what the reporter says regarding the flooding and its coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the close of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

If Israel did this in 2010, does it begger belief they would have done the same thing again this past week? If they did, the question then becomes did they do it out of a) a need to divert flooding from their own communities in Israel, or b) pure malice?

The question of whether a dam was opened or floodwater in some way diverted is addressed in a report on the Gaza flooding published at The Ecologist, an environmental website:

Amid the chaos it is impossible to verify the accusations. The heavy rain has also affected bordering areas of Israel and whether or not dams have been deliberately opened, drainage systems in Sderot and other cities were certainly overwhelmed by the volume of water.

What is certain is that low-lying Gaza, on the coastal plain, lacking functioning drainage and sewage systems, would in any case suffer most severely from the rainfall. Moreover Israel already stands accused of deliberately running down basic santitation services in Gaza in order to make life unlivable for its residents.

And as Gaza resident Fidaa Abuassi points out: “Unlike their neighbors in Sderot Gaza’s refugees have nowhere to flee when heavy rains flood their 25-mile occupied territory, blockaded by land, air, and sea.”

Even as the floodwaters recede, there may be worse to come. The report warns of what most likely is an “impending health catastrophe” in the making, with a flare up of respiratory and skin diseases brought on by constant exposure to sewage water and lack of medical supplies.

Update–12/18/13

Since I posted this article yesterday, Israel and its supporters have unleashed an avalanche of denials of any involvement in the flooding of Gaza. The following is from an article published today at the Times of Israel:

The allegation of [Israel] opening dams and flooding the Gaza Strip is baseless and false,” Uri Schor, a spokesman for Israel’s Water Authority told The Times of Israel in an email correspondence Wednesday. No dams even exist in the area, he added, noting that water reservoirs have overflowed across the country, causing flooding.

“The opposite is true: due to the damage caused by the storm — which affected all neighboring countries and not only the Palestinian Authority — Israel responded to a special appeal conveyed through the UN, transferring four high-power pumps to the Gaza Strip intended to help residents remove water from flooded areas.”

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33 Responses to Did Israel Deliberately Flood Gaza?

  1. Pingback: Israel flooding Gaza | Alternative News Network

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m not sure if my favorite part is when they claim that the water reached 5 meters in some places (maybe they don’t know what a meter is?) or when they showed the picture of the Mediterranean Sea claiming that to be flood water. Or of course the fun non-fact that Israel opened its non-existent dams. That one had my sides almost splitting.

    • Richard Edmondson says:

      Maybe the solution, Sarah, is for Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, as the UNRWA official has called upon them to do. By imposing its blockade Israel bears ultimate responsibility for fuel shortages and other problems that have led to this disaster–and ultimately is going to be blamed, either justly or unjustly, for whatever calamities occur in the course of it. By the way, Israel has at least one dam that I know of, the Degania Dam on the Jordan River.

      • tsisageya says:

        I’m thinking the ‘solution’ may be to end Israel. What on earth is the Final Solution? I’m really having a paradigm shift.

  3. Um…Richard, we would love to end the blockade if it were safe to do so. Only when Gazans declare their desire to live in peace with Israel can we consider this possibility. The Jordan River is nowhere near Gaza. When Hamas and Gazans declare their unequivocal acceptance of a Jewish state as their neighbor and partner for peace, Israel will be overjoyed, and definitely lift any siege, develop economic and cultural ties and everything else that peace-loving people want.

    • tsisageya says:

      George, your comment makes me laugh and laugh and derisively laugh.

    • ariadna says:

      Don’t pay attention to tsisageya, George. I sense bias there. I’m with you. I think peace is possible if both sides compromise fairly:
      1. — Israel must allow a small number of Palestinians to remain in the Jewish State, before shipping the rest out. They get to select which ones.
      Palestinians must accept that those who stay must be sterilized. There is no other way to deal with the demographic time bomb.
      2. — Israel must settle for a non-existent acceptance by the non-existent Palestinians of the Jewish State based on Golda Meir (and a large majority of Israeli jews’) opinion that Palestinians do not exist.
      Palestinians must refrain from provocatively insisting that they exist.
      3. — Israel must designate areas where the remaining Palestinians can live. They will not be called “bantustans,” which is a wrong-headed allusion to apartheid in the only democracy in the ME, but something more gemütlich, like “shtetls.”
      The Palestinians must accept to keep themselves in the designated areas.
      4. — Israel must guarantee that the IDF raids organized regularly on the shtetls for training purposes will not inflict, to the extent possible, lethal harm to the shtetl dwellers.
      The shtetl dwellers must in turn pledge cooperation with the raid exercises to avoid damaging IDF equipment and wasting ammo.
      What do you say? Oh, I forgot the good point you made about cultural exchanges: yes the Palestinians could benefit greatly from so much the Israeli culture has to teach them: falafel, humus, kuffiehs, you name it!

      • tsisageya says:

        I am a woman living in the U.S. and …….vomiting. I won’t sign, I won’t vote, I won’t protest, I won’t do anything except vomit. That’s my life. Vomiting at the state of the world. What else is there?

        I must find something else.

  4. aReefer says:

    Richard, please do me a favour and open Google Earth, and then tell me how close the Dagania dam is to the Gaza strip in your own best estimate?

    I think that you are clutching at straws to defend your false assertions in your article and flying in the face of common sense and the laws of both physics and liquid dynamics. Water would need to entirely flood every city in Southern Israel before reaching the Gaza Strip from there, including filling-up several large desert canyons on the way, creating 100 meter-deep rivers in the process(!!)

    Another newsflash: The Dead Sea – which this dam feeds into – is famous for one thing in particular – namely for being the lowest place on Earth, so your response makes no sense at all – unless of course water flows uphill where you live? :)

  5. Richard Edmondson says:

    Dear Impeccably Honest Zionists,

    Thank you for the “news flash.” Now please tell me what about my comments “makes no sense at all” to you. The previous commenter made reference to Israel’s “non-existent dams.” I merely pointed out to her that there is at least one dam in Israel, that I know of. Please read my comment again carefully. I did not say the Degania Dam was used to flood Gaza. I do know where the Jordan River is and I do know where Gaza is.

    I have the feeling that you folks are getting a little rushed in your hasbara posting efforts. Did you read what I wrote carefully? Please quote back to me what “false assertions” I made. I did not say unequivocally that Israel had flooded Gaza. I merely reported that these are the allegations that were made. Did you take note of the question mark at the end of the title line?

    Um…George, all I can tell you is that if you had imposed a blockade on the town in which I live for the past six or seven years, like you’ve imposed upon Gaza, I would probably be firing rockets at you too. End the blockade of Gaza. Also get your scummy Lobby out of my Congress and stop getting us into wars. If you want a war with Iran, go fight it yourselves.

  6. ariadna says:

    Richard, there were no inaccuracies in your article but, objective as I am wont to be, I must point out to you that it was unbalanced. It did not look at things from the other side.
    Here’s my 2¢:
    Dam, shmam, who cares about technicalities? The main thing to keep in mind is that the Israelis have tried — to no avail so far — just about all possible approaches with these people, from, shall we say the “Elemental Approach” (P-atomic #15 because it burns brightly) to the “Organic Approach” (raw, untreated sewage or “skunk” spraying tanks — quotes below).
    Cost effectiveness is naturally an issue to any good administration– gas canisters are more expensive (quote below).
    So now the Israelis have released a dam, a shmam, a valve, a clutch, a gizmo, whatever, and flooded them.
    So do they take a hint and vacate the premises that, as we all know, were deeded by “G-d” Himself to the Ashkenazim? No!
    I like George Metesky’s comment. In fact I would bet that if you ask any sane, rational person to give you the first word association that comes to mind spontaneously when you say “Israel,” the response you’ll get will be “peace-loving” neck to neck to “humane.”
    Quotes:
    #1
    “The noxious mist, which Israeli police refer to as “skunk,” was used for the first time earlier this month, when a truck-mounted cannon sprayed it over the heads of protesters, sending them racing down the hillside, retching and tearing off their shirts to try to escape the stench.
    Dozens of Palestinians from the village of Bilin, along with international and Israeli activists, had marched to a nearby segment of Israel’s controversial separation barrier to demand its removal, just as they have done every Friday for the last three and a half years.
    “No, no to settlements; no, no to the wall!” they shouted, as they waved Palestinian flags and posters of Yusef Amira, a 16-year-old shot dead by Israeli police at a protest in a neighbouring village last month.
    Then the skunk truck arrived, spraying a cloud of yellow mist and filling the air with the suffocating stench of feces and urine.
    Israeli police say “skunk” is more effective at dispersing crowds than tear gas or the more lethal rubber-coated bullets, which killed Amira.”
    #2
    “According to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the rainfall led to a lot of excess water which couldn’t drain away, so “the Israeli authorities resorted to discharging the excess water into the Gaza Strip.”
    Whateveer they released to discharge “excess water” had the effect of a dam releasing sewage.

    #3
    Israeli forces have sprayed Palestinian homes in the village of Nabi Saleh with ‘Skunk’* as a punishment for organising weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall built on occupied West Bank land. Human rights watchdog B’Tselem published a video showing Israel’s armoured tanker trucks fitted with “water cannons” which spray the foul fluid at Palestinian protesters.
    It is reported that the Israeli forces also targeted all the houses of the village with the liquid formula. A B’Tselem report pointed out the effects of this ‘Skunk’ spray included causing environmental damage. B’Tselem has reported that this non-lethal weapon has been added to Israel’s armoury for crowd control, even though the video shows clearly that it is also used against Palestinian-owned property.

    #4
    The Israeli military has been looking for an alternative to tear gas canisters for crowd control, claiming that the Palestinians now know how to cope with the gas and its effects.
    ” target=”_blank” style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 32); “>
    eastmonitor.com

    So you see, Richard, there are two sides to every story….

    • Richard Edmondson says:

      Skunk!!!??? Spraying a chemical on protestors that smells like skunk, feces, and urine–you mean the impeccably honest Israelis would do such a thing??? Oh G-d, say it ain’t so!

      You make a good point about the dam-shman-valve-clutch-gizmo thing. There are all kinds of dams, reservoirs, retention ponds, etc., some large, some small. There is a man-made lake in a park not far from where I live that has a dam at one end of it. It’s a small, earthen dam. So small and seemingly insignificant is it in fact that nobody has ever even given it a name. But if it were to crumble, water would go flooding over a pretty wide area. I don’t know what happened in Gaza, and I’m kind of inclined to agree with the writer of the Ecologist article that in the chaos it’s almost impossible to verify the accusations. But the Press TV video struck me as pretty compelling evidence that what the Palestinian authorities are saying about what occurred may in fact be true.

      • ariadna says:

        In the absence of an outright confession, going by circumstantial evidence and track record only, I think there are only two realistic possibilities: either the Israelis did it or the Dutch (they are good with dams).
        Unless Uri Geller was involved on the Israeli side, my money is on the Dutch.

  7. tsisageya says:

    ariadne, too many words! Too much sarcasm to digest! What is happening?

  8. Doug says:

    You had me with “it has been reported”. Look at your sources Press TV? Hamas? Palywood? “These are reports”? And then you proceed to write paragraphs about something that never happened?

    After you could’t stretch this ‘blame israel for things it did not do’ any longer, you utter: “Israel and its supporters have unleashed an avalanche of denials”. So spreading fiction is ok, but when some people call on your nonsense, it’s not OK? Instead of: “I was wrong (and dumb to believe my ‘sources’)”, it’s Israel and its supporters who have unleashed an avalanche of denials. Let’s blame them again because they have no right to simply show how wrong you are like normal people, those people only “unleashed an avalanches of denials” as if there is a debate here.

    And yes, Dgania has a dam, but don’t ask Press Tv where it is, use the Evil Empire’s Jewish-controlled Google Maps and see how far it is from Gaza.

    Unbelievable

    • Richard Edmondson says:

      So I “had” you, did I? Well, I guess we all get had at some point. To tell you the truth, Doug, you seem to be doing more slinging mud on the messenger than anything else here. Press TV is a model of responsible journalism compared to the mainstream media in the US, who have lied us into one war after another. Perhaps you should say to yourself three times, “I was wrong (and dumb to believe my sources),” then go find a jungle gym to play on and leave posting comments to adults.

      • Doug says:

        “Press TV is a model of responsible journalism”? The mouthpiece of a genocdial islamofacist regime? Hmhh. So you continue to believe this? I always wondered how hate of Israel can turn people into lunatics. You are a great subject for observation and study. And all your brain can produce is an attack on someone who just told you: actually dude, this never happened. Maybe it is not a good idea to listen to Al Manar, Press TV and the likes. Maybe, just maybe mouthpieces of genocidal regimes who have an agenda against Israel would not be the best source of information? Maybe I can just retract and write: Update – sorry it never happen. Never mind. I heard about really cheap flights from Mars to Earth. Will be good for you to visit us one of these days

    • Richard Edmondson says:

      You refer to Press TV as “the mouthpiece of a genocidal islamofacist regime.” Tell me Doug, who is Iran committing genocide against? Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines “genocide” as follows:

      Article 2

      In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

      (a) Killing members of the group;

      (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

      (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

      (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

      (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

      In what way does the nation of Iran deserve to be referred to as “genocidal” under this definition? It doesn’t. This is nothing more than Zionist harbara that you’re spreading. But in point of fact, a case could be made that there IS one country in the Middle East whose policies meet the above definition. Can you guess what country that is?

      There is one country in the Middle East that is killing members of a targeted group. Can you guess what country that is, Doug?

      There is one country in the Middle East that is causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a targeted group. Can you name what country that is, Doug?

      There is one country in the Middle East that is deliberately inflicting upon a targeted group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. Do you know what country that is, Doug?

      There is one country in the Middle East that kills young children of a targeted group and did so as recently as Christmas Eve. Would you care to state the name of that country, Doug? I’ll even give you a hint, Doug. The name of the country starts with the letter “I”, but it’s not Iran, and it’s not Iraq.

      One other thing, Doug–I still stand by my statement: compared to US mainstream media, Press TV is a model of responsible journalism.

  9. Dave says:

    “Press TV a model of responsible journalism compared to the mainstream media in the US” This is just insane, all and every US media outlet (considered mainstream?) of which there must be thousands are all studied, analysed and thus quantified on Richards ‘mystical responsibility’ gauge and all measured as less responsible than a media outlet run by a theocratic dictatorship. Absolute drivel!!!

    • Richard Edmondson says:

      Did the New York Times lie about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction”? Yes or no, Dave?

      • Dave says:

        Thats one example 10 years ago thats whats known as anecdotal, a reference to a long term study would be useful in order to validate your argument that Press TV is a model of responsible journalism. Such citation would assist in providing a comparative analysis of reporting accuracies. But no, you provide only 1 example. This is a very poor way of arguing your case. Let me put a question to you, how many international awards have Press TV received? Please dont resort to mind numbing conspiracy theories that may seek to explain away why Press TV have received no journalistic awards if this is indeed the case.

      • Richard Edmondson says:

        The one example I gave, Dave, resulted in the deaths of perhaps as many as a million or more people and the destruction of an entire country. But alright, you want other, more recent examples? Go here, and keep in mind that the examples cited are just with regard to one topic. Multiply that number by all the other issues the mainstream media adulterate with their “professional” chicanery,and you begin to get some idea of the dimensions of this feculence we’re dealing with. I stand by my statement: compared to the mainstream media in America, Press TV is a model of responsible journalism. In fact, if you really want to get down to it–out of all the things the mainstream media report on, about the only two things that can be trusted and relied upon with any reasonable certainty are sports and the weather. And even that’s debatable.

      • ariadna says:

        Richard you are not looking at the NY Times from David’s perspective:
        http://yoga.about.com/od/yogaposes/a/headstand.htm

      • Richard Edmondson says:

        Ariadna, I’m not sure if Dave’s problem is he’s inverting while menstruating, or whether it might be a tad bit more serious than that. Yo Dave! See my response below!

      • Dave says:

        Your posting and reasoning gets more baffling as you continue your responses.

        Firstly, for the purposes of this debate it is irrelevant how many people died in Iraq, either killed by Sadam, Jihadi bombings or US/British forces.

        You then cite another blogger who criticises 5 or 6 reports pertaining to Venezuela which casually ignores the reasonable request for a more rigorous comparative study.

        You then as an ad hoc addition introduce some form of mystical multiplier effect and ‘professional chicanery’ (whatever that means) in an attempt to validate what still remains a ridiculous assertion regarding Press TV. One final point is; even if you do not trust the US mainstream media it is always open to you to trust the UK media (BBC for example) over and above Press TV. It is simple, the BBC exists within the framework of a democratic state, Press TV works within the framework of a theocratic dictatorship that since 1979 has killed around 130,000 of its own citizens

      • Richard Edmondson says:

        That’s the second time you’ve used the word “mystical”, Dave. I’m glad you think I’m such a mystic.

        “Your posting and reasoning gets more baffling as you continue your responses…”

        What is it that baffles you, Dave? Is it my mysticism?

        So you’re taking it upon yourself to defend the mainstream media, eh? That’s interesting. It’s rare to find people nowadays willing to do that. Dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it, I suppose. Dave, I don’t have time to do the “rigorous comparative study” you seem to be asking of me, so why don’t you do it for me? And while you’re at it, why not do a “rigorous comparative study” of shoelaces or the bristles on your own toothbrush, as I’m sure either will be just about as astounding.

  10. ariadna says:

    Doug, of course Iran is a theocratic state! Any rabbi in Israel can confirm that.
    I check PressTV every day just to keep an eye on them. Then I compare their reports to those in Arutz Sheva and J Post, which for me are the standard of objective reporting.
    I don’t trust MSM in the US because they all too often portray Israel in a negative light. They fail to emphasize the suffering of the Israeli Jews terrorized under Palestinian occupation and they never place this conflict in its proper historical context: why don’t they ever publish stories about the Holocaust? Is it the Islamic lobby? Or perhaps it is the internet’s influence, as Abe Foxman warned us when he said he found a direct correlation between he rise of anti-semitism and the internet.
    I have often told Richard — I speak plainly to him — that just because Israel has the means, the motive, the opportunity and the track record does not mean he is justified in suspecting Israel for this calamity. This is fallacious Goyische logic.
    By contrast, when Israel says Iran is six months to a year away from having a nuclear bomb, it is true, and in fact it is as true today as it was 9, 7, 5, 3, 2 years ago when Israel issued the same warning. This is known as a serial truth.
    It is very hard to explain talmudic reasoning to a Goy because it operates on completely different principles and in another sphere. It is what Elie Wiesel tried to convey when he responded to critics of his support for some Holocaust memoirs that turned out to be a complete fabrication (approximate quote): “Truth does not need to be factually accurate. The emotional truth is what makes it valid.” Not just any loser’s emotional truth either, mind you. When Einstein said “God doesn’t play dice” he probably meant that G-d did not pick the Jews to be His chosen people and lord it over the rest of His creation, which He detested, by pulling the tribe’s name out of some divine hat. G-d was on to their unique chosenness potential.

  11. joe anon 1 says:

    skunk spray is squatters sweat.
    it is simply recycled.

  12. Pingback: #Gaza: Hamas Asks You to Buy a Dam in the Negev | American Infidels

  13. joe anon 1 says:

    s/b squat’s sweat.

  14. tsisageya says:

    Yes, Israel deliberately flooded Gaza. Assholes.

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