Will Palestinian Water Development be Possible?

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual Conference of Environmental and Water Resources Institute, Salt Lake City, UT

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This paper examines the history that lead to the present-day allocation of the waters that are jointly claimed by Palestinians and Israelis. It describes the status of the water sector in Israel at the time the Oslo II Peace Accords were signed, and contrasts these Israeli conditions with the development of water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under the auspices of the Oslo II accords. The paper reports on the impacts that have been sustained by the Palestinian water infrastructure during the current Intifada, and speculates on the conditions that will have to prevail before Palestinian-Israeli water issues can be resolved. The paper is based in part on personal experiences of its authors in working in the Palestinian water sector since 1996. It documents a sampling of problematical situations and conditions related to water management in the region that are not frequently reported in the western media, that do not command the attention of academic researchers, but that provide a glimpse into reasons why the joint management of the waters shared by Palestinians and Israelis was not possible under the framework of Oslo II. In particular, conditions "on the ground" that are peculiar to the water sector and that continue to prevent an integrated approach to the management of transboundary water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are discussed.

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