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Israel storms causes millions of dollars in F-16 fighter jet damages Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel storms causes millions of dollars in F-16 fighter jet damages

US F-16 Fighter Jets is the country's most advanced jet [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 January, 2020

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Israeli fighter jets have been submerged with water.
Rainstorms across Israel over the weekend caused millions of dollars in damages to F-16 Fighter Jets and maintenance equipment at an army base in the south of the country.

Heavy rainfall left hangers and workshops flooded, the military revealed following attempts to have the information censored.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) also had to rescue soldiers who were stuck near the plane base, and though no injuries were reported the cost of repairs will be steep.

Local Channel 12 news added that a number of mechanics also needed to be rescued from the flooded hangers, with waters reaching one and a half metres in depth.

"A number of planes were damaged. They will be repaired and will return to flight in the coming days," the military said.

The military had lifted the censorship and allowed local media outlets to report on the damages after images of the jets made their way onto social media.

A senior Israeli air force official revealed that eight of Israel's most advanced fighter jets were "severely damaged", and criticised the army, arguing that it could have been prevented if they had prepared for stormy weather in advance, Haaretz revealed.

In addition three planes suffered serious damage and five sustained less damage.

The official went on to say that jets which had been taken from the hangers to the runways before the rainstorm descended on the army base had remained intact and if all fighter jets had been removed in this manner, they would not have sustained any damage.

The army refused to disclose how many combat jets had been stored in the flooded base.

The official also blamed the civil authorities for the damages, which he says could have been prevented if they had built drainage systems for rainwater.

The base, he added, was built in an area prone to flooding, and this would have been the best preventative measure.

Earlier this month two people died in Tel Aviv after being trapped in a flooded elevator. Another man, called Moti Ben Shabbat was killed in the north after trying to rescue a mother and child trapped in their car.

Flooding in the region

Israeli forces poisoned crops in the besieged Gaza Strip by pumping large amounts of rainwater into agricultural land on Saturday.

The Israeli soldiers were found east of the border fence, eyewitnesses told Palestinian Authority's official news agency WAFA.

Soldiers turn on the rainwater collection dams along the border with the besieged enclave, causing around one square kilometer of agricultural land planted with wheat, barley, peas, cabbage and cauliflower to sink.

This is the second time this year Israeli forces cause damage to already-starved Gaza. Last week, Israeli forces damaged large amounts of crops when they released rainwater into the besieged territory.

Attacking Gazans' livestock with water is a common tactic used by the occupying forces in the strip, and they also severely control the flow of basic necessities, such as fuel and medicine in what the United Nations has referred to as an "open air prison".

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