French News Agency AFP has reportedly published a “baseless” report which claimed that Israel has deliberately flooded villages in Gaza by opening dam gates.
Agence France Presse (AFP), a French news agency, posted a brief news clip on Sunday, titled “Gaza village floods after Israel opens dam gates,” alleging that Israel has deliberately flooded Gaza by opening dams.
The fact is that Israel has no dams that can be opened in southern Israel, and this report is completely baseless, CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) reports.
In the video, Ead Zino, a resident of Al-Maghraqa in the Gaza Strip, accuses Israel of deliberate destruction: “Every four years there is a war, but here in Maghraqa every year there is a flood. This water comes from Israel. This is political. All Israel wants is to destroy us.”
AFP neglected to include any Israeli voice to refute the false charge.
CAMERA contacted a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF unit responsible for implementing government policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip, regarding the claim that Israel purposefully flooded Gaza.
“The claim is entirely false and southern Israel does not have any dams,” the spokesman stated. “Due to the recent rain, streams were flooded throughout the region with no connection to actions taken by the State of Israel.”
The spokesman added that prior to the storm, COGAT 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 order to deal with any potential flooding.
Nechemia Shahaf, head of the Drainage Authority for the Shakma-Besor Region, confirmed to CAMERA that there are no dams that can be opened or closed in southern Israel, saying: “There is a diverting dam one meter high which directs water to reservoirs. This is a low dam which cannot be opened or closed.”
He also noted that the singular dam, which cannot be opened, is next to Kibbutz Gvulot and approximately 20 kilometers away from Gaza.
CAMERA has contacted AFP editors, requesting clarification. None has been offered to date.
The falsified AFP report:
A History of Imaginary Reports
CAMERA notes that AFP has an illustrious history of falsifying news about Israel.
Two months ago, the French news outlet declined to clarify an article claiming that an Israeli arsonist was responsible for a fire in a Samaria mosque, even though it was discovered that day that it was an accidental fire in which no Israeli was involved. Numerous other media outlets clarified the false report; AFP did not.
Three years ago, AFP refused to clarify the unsubstantiated allegation that an Israeli soldier ran over a Palestinian worker with a construction vehicle.
Later that year, editors of the influential international news agency failed to correct the false claim that an Israeli airstrike had killed 11-year-old Mahmoud Sadallah during Operation Pillar of Defense, although multiple other news sources clarified that he was killed by a Hamas rocket.
CAMERA pointed out that Associated Press (AP), New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Haaretz, among others, all followed up with updated reports and corrections.
By: United with Israel Staff