Hundreds Displaced as Israel Opens Dam, Flooding Gaza Villages

Homes Now Under 10 Feet of Water

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were displaced today when the Israeli military, with no prior warning, opened a dam and flooded out the Gaza Valley, destroying a number of homes and leaving many under nearly 10 feet of water.

Gaza civil defense officials say the dam was opened without any notification overnight, and forced at least 80 families out of their homes and into a nearby refugee camp. It also destroyed considerable farmland in the area.

The move appears to have been related to significant snowfall in Israel in recent weeks, as Israel decided to get rid of the excess water by opening the floodgates and sending it into the strip. Locals in Gaza say such flooding is not unheard of, and Israel never informs them before such a move.

Civil defense officials went on to warn that while the water would eventually make its way into the Mediterranean Sea, if Israel opens more floodgates before then the water will flood out even more villages and displace even more civilians.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.