Israel Floods Gaza Neighborhood with Rainwater

GAZA, February 22, 2015 (WAFA) – 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.

“Opening the levees to the canal has led to the flooding of several Palestinian homes, and we had to quickly evacuate the afflicted citizens,” it added.

Due to unprecedented water floods, local authorities were forced to block the main road connecting between al-Mughraqa district and Nusseirat refugee camp south of Gaza city.

Civil defense was also able to secure the exit of hundreds of Palestinians who were trapped in the floods. Those who were evacuated from the area were placed in makeshift shelters, said local al-Ray news agency.

Almost every year, the Israeli authorities open the floodgates to their dams in the direction of Gaza and without prior notice, to discharge massive quantities of water that had accumulated due to the heavy rains in the Naqab region.