Residents of the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Sunday blamed Israel’s security barrier for massive flooding that damaged homes following the weekend’s torrential rains, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
According to farmer Ahmad Salmi, the concrete wall abutting his property prevented adequate drainage of the rains, causing “thousands of dollars’ worth of damage” to farmland and residential properties.
The news agency also quoted Walid Jeedi, a local engineer, blaming the pooled water for damaging houses built near the security barrier.
He added that the flooding “also caused extensive environmental damage along the wall’s route, destroying trees and plants.”
Annual flooding in Qalqilya, which is nearly entirely surrounded by the barrier, has reportedly been a perennial problem since the security barrier was installed in the past decade. Palestinians claim that the IDF often refuses to open the gates to the water drainage pipes.
The IDF Spokesperson was not available for comment.