Israel has opened the Wadi Sofa Dam east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, flooding dozens of houses and leaving hundreds of people homeless. The head of the Gaza government’s Information Office, Ihab Al-Ghusain, told Arabic Sky News that the local civil defence teams have been working to evacuate the flooded homes.
Rafah City Mayor Issa Nashar confirmed the incident on Sunday, saying, “Israel has indeed opened the dam which led to drowning the neighbouring areas with accumulated rain water up to 1 metre deep.”
This incident came after an unprecedented storm, called Alexa by meteorologists, hit the Middle East causing a humanitarian disaster in the region’s most vulnerable areas. In the Gaza Strip, at least one person is reported to have died as a result of the freak weather conditions and nearly 5,000 are taking shelter in community facilities while their homes are uninhabitable.
According to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the rainfall led to a lot of excess water which couldn’t drain away, so “the Israeli authorities resorted to discharging the excess water into the Gaza Strip.”