Frontiers of Law, Political Science and Art

The Monitoring and strife aspects of waters among Palestine and Israel


Hakimi Fahim

Palestine utilizes four groundwater basins, three of which are transboundary or shared waters. Palestine is a riparian country in the Jordan River but it is denied its water rights. Palestine and Israel signed an interim water agreement in 1995 (called Oslo II accord) and a final agreement is yet to be negotiated and signed. There is still a serious conflict between Palestine and Israel over water resources whether they are either endogenous or shared. This conflict is about water rights and management of these water resources. This conflict has to be settled and solved in the final status negotiations between the two parties. The final status negotiations are yet to start seriously. This paper addresses the core issues of differences and concentrates on the management of water resources and identifies the Palestinian water rights for the final status negotiations. The difficulties and shortcomings of Oslo II accord are that the interim agreement never addressed all water resources and it was in favor of Israel. Israel controls now 100% of the Palestinian water rights in the Jordan River and 86% of the Palestinian groundwater resources (shared and endogenous) resulting in an unequal per capita water consumption ration of 4:1 in favor to Israel. Also, Israel's mismanagement of the transboundary waters lacks the holistic and integrated approach and is based on putting huge pressure on the aquifers (abstraction scenario for Israeli use) in drought periods which only increase the suffering of Palestinians in terms of meeting their water needs. The paper analyses both the Palestinian and the Israeli positions about the conflict over water in the final status negotiations. This paper shows that there is a need to a final agreement between the two parties in which the International Law will be used to solve the conflict over water. This paper concludes that the Palestinians should recover their absolute sovereignty over their endogenous water resources and recover their fair share in shared water resources.


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