Hamas has found someone to blame for the devastating floods in the Gaza Strip as a result of last week’s massive storm — Israel.
A Palestinian spokesman told Al-Quds that Israel had opened sewage canals east of the Gaza Strip, “exacerbating the crisis and raising the water level, causing homes to be submerged,” a claim that Mideast and international media gave prominent coverage to this week, The Times of Israel reported.
Israel dismissed the claim out of hand.
“The allegation of [Israel] opening dams and flooding the Gaza Strip is baseless and false,” Uri Schor, a spokesman for Israel’s Water Authority said on 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.”
Schor said it was regrettable that Israel’s “immediate and professional” assistance to the Gaza Strip was not adequately reported by Palestinian media, adding that “one can assume that the considerations motivating the Palestinian side [on this matter] were political rather than professional.”
A spokesman for the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that rumors of Israel flooding Gaza “repeat themselves every year when Gaza is drenched in rain.”