AFP and Other Media Smear Israel with False Report That Jews Flooded Gaza …Update: AFP Pulls Hit Piece

Agence France Press has been called out for smearing Israel with a video report that falsely claims Israel opened dams that flooded Gaza recently.

The report is a Palestinian propaganda film, pure and simple.


The forty-six second video report was posted to AFP’s official YouTube account on Sunday. The video is titled by AFP, “Gaza village floods after Israel opens dam gates”.

The video shows flood waters and features an interview with a man in the Gazan village of al-Mughraqa identified as Ead Zino who says in Arabic:

“Every four years there is a war, but here in Mughraqa every year there is a flood. This water comes from Israel. This is political. All Israel wants is to destroy us.

The video next shows a woman in al-Mughraqa identified as Khetam Zino, who says:

“We haven’t been eating or drinking. Life is difficult and we don’t have electricity at night.”

No spokesman for Israel appears in the report. The dam that AFP says was opened is not identified or located.

The video report is credited on screen to “Y. Hassouna”.

The group CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, contacted the Israeli government which denied the claims of Israel flooding that part of Gaza as physically impossible:

“Regarding the claim that Israel opened dams, thereby flooding Gaza, a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told CAMERA:

““The claim is entirely false, and southern Israel does not have any dams. Due to the recent rain, streams were flooded throughout the region with no connection to actions taken by the State of Israel.

““Prior to the storm, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories 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 dealing with any potential flooding throughout the area.”

“In addition, Nechemia Shahaf, the head of the Drainage Authority for the Shakma-Besor Region, confirmed to CAMERA that there are no dams which can be opened and closed in southern Israel. “Shahaf said, “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.”

The Palestinians’ smear of Israel is being picked up by outlets including the UK Daily Mail which picked up the story from Al Jazeera:

“Brigadier General Said Al-Saudi, chief of the civil defence agency in Gaza, said that the dams were opened without warning.

“’Israel opened water dams, without warning, last night, causing serious damage to Gazan villages near the border,’ he told Al Jazeera.”

Curiously, AFP has blocked its video report from being viewed on the Israeli site

The AFP video is embedded in INN’s report on AFP’ false report but clicking on the video triggers the message, “This video contains content from afp (Rightster), who has blocked it from display on this website. Watch on YouTube” and a link to view the video directly on YouTube.

UPDATE: AFP has pulled the video report from YouTube. The video is still available at MSN.

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