Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Israel Floods Lebanese Farmland

The DailyStar reports (emphasis mine):
Israel deliberately flooded Lebanese farmlands with excess rainwater from an Israeli orchard, located off the southern town of Mais al-Jabal early Tuesday, ruining crops and properties, the state-run national news agency said.

The Lebanese Army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) dispatched teams to look into the incident, which drew protests from the southern residents. Tuesday's flooding is part of a systematic practice by the Israeli authorities to turn the highly-fertile land into swamps by channeling rainwater into the fields via trenches, which were dug for that purpose.

The Lebanese Army and UNIFIL have tried to block the water channels to protect the crops. Separately, UNIFIL's media coordinator, Dhalia Farran, reiterated calls for Israel to hand over official maps detailing where the Israeli army dropped cluster bombs during the summer 2006 war.
Well at least with Avigdor Lieberman as that state's Foreign Minister the world will get to see the face of Israel everyone in the region knows so well.

9 comments:

  1. Well, this might actually be positive for both Lebanon and Palestine, at least in the medium term. It is unlikely to make Israel many friends, and it might make it lose some of existing ones, or at least some of the good will of the existing ones. Which, in due time, might lead Israel to give a little bit more concessions (such as stopping these silly and very unfriendly swampings).

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  2. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Agree fully..

    Israel are a law to themselves and one day it will really come home to bite them and when it does, I will be sitting back and laughing my ass off at them with absolutely no pity..

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  3. Anonymous7:03 PM

    "Israel are a law to themselves and one day it will really come home to bite them -"

    Less than you think. Fact is, very rarely are Israel's legal arguments and justifications seriously considered in the Arab press. Israel is accused of violating international law but only rarely do the accusations pan out. Rather than evaluate this outcome from a legal standpoint, Arabs tend to dismiss it with such excuses as "Israel is a law to itself".

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  4. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Hi, my name is Lauren and I am an anthropology student at the University of Vermont in the USA. I am currently taking a course entitled Middle East Ethnography, in which we choose a country to research and write about. Part of the assignment is to research and comment on a blog written by someone from our country of which we are studying. I chose Lebanon, and came across your blog. I was somewhat shocked to read your posting about the recent flooding. Has this happened before? Is there anyway to set up a blockage system so the water cannot go into the crops? I was about to ask as to how this is legal, then saw the already posted comments. So in response to those comments- why do so many issues end up at a legal standpoint? Your post was the first I had heard of the flooding, so thank-you for providing up to date information about what is going on in Lebanon!

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  5. True Blue1:53 AM

    The same happened last year, and a battle almost erupted when the LAF blocked one of the channels previously opened by the Israeli army to release the excess rainwater from the Israeli side to the Lebanese, then the Israeli army returned after 20 days to reopen it, at that time the LAF came to the place and each side took combat positions.

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  6. Hi Lauren,

    Personally it was the first time I had heard of this particular practice, although the article seems to indicate that it had happened before.

    Usually we hear of stories where one side is trying to take (or keep) water, not trying to dump it!

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  7. True Blue2:08 AM

    This is a good piece by Nicholas Blanford, a respected reporter, about water issues between Israel and Lebanon:

    http://www.merip.org/mero/mero093002.html

    and here is the map of the affected area:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Mais+al-Jabal&sll=33.265389,35.561028&sspn=0.131763,0.21698&ie=UTF8&t=p&view=map&ei=Av7ASY3yNYHSM7iw0NII&attrid=&ll=33.105635,35.338898&spn=0.132003,0.21698&z=12

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  8. sane, therefore not an arab11:14 AM

    so another conspiracy theory from the Arabs ... projection??

    maybe the farm is just moving water off their land, into some drainage ditches

    and not something the Israeli gov't even knows about. Because why would they care?

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  9. True Blue2:35 PM

    The part about it being systematic is attributed to farmers in the area

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