Al Jazeera on Wednesday retracted its story, based on false claims by Palestinian sources, that Israel had opened dams and flooded the Gaza Strip. This invention was repeated by the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency, Britain's massively popular Daily Mail, Palestinian news agencies and countless other Internet and social media sites.
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Al Jazeera posted on its website: "Editor's note: An earlier version of this page hosted an article which stated that Israel had, without warning, opened a number of dams, which had resulted in a part of Gaza being flooded. This was false. In southern Israel, there are no dams of the type which can be opened. We apologise for this error."
The current flooding in Gaza comes as a result of the heavy winter rains, which have been especially harsh on the masses of residents made homeless by Israeli air assaults in last summer's war.
On Wednesday the Daily Mail also retracted its story. In an updated report on the flooding in Gaza, the paper's website stated: "An earlier version of this article stated that Israel had opened river dams in the south of the country, causing flooding in the Gaza strip. In fact, there are no dams in southern Israel and the flooding was caused by rain and drainage issues. We are happy to clarify this."