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Effects of the Separation Barrier on the Viability of a Future Palestinian State

  • Daniel Arsenault
  • Jamie Green

Abstract

Despite the surface tension over Palestinian terrorism and Israeli security methods, the peace process is ultimately hinged on many long-term considerations. With the recent political transformations in the region and efforts for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, water remains to be a strongly regarded priority, as well as a mutual dilemma. The importance of water access and control is at times concealed by its low-key political stature in comparison to the human security agenda of Israelis and the political rights of Palestinians. The perception that water is of lesser importance than security and justice is in itself a threat to the overall peace process, and the possibility of a future Palestinian state. The strategic control of water resources between Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip have geopolitical implications tied to nearly every aspect of the current political situation. Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, the refugee population, Palestinian living conditions, and the separation wall — along with its actual location and route — all have linkages to the access, control, and quality of water resources; this is by no means a complete list. The strategic control of water resources by either side in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will determine the future viability of any Palestinian state. Palestine’s weak socio-economic maturation due in part to limited water access is a testament to its importance for success in agriculture, industry, health, and human development. The current heading towards an Israeli imposed unilateral peace will only further the control of water in the region, and calls into question the very viability of a Palestine for Palestinians.

In its current form, this chapter is explicitly in its theoretical stage. The ideas provided require the backing of primary source data the authors plan to collect in future trips to Israel. The interest is to expose it to the criticisms and suggestions of others interested in understanding the geopolitical realities of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and, as such, being able to provide recommendations and solutions to bring about its conclusion. In the absence of the requisite data, satisfying Israeli water security demands, through an understanding of the security paradigm shift, will be demonstrated by identifying the relationship between the neorealist definition of the international system, and Israeli strategic culture. The specifics of the water crisis facing Israel will be provided, as will the links between water, the construction of the security fence, and settlement locations. Finally, the chapter will conclude on the effects of water scarcity and the viability of a future Palestinian state.

Keywords

Geopolitics Water Resource Conflict Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Separation Wall West Bank 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Arsenault
    • 1
  • Jamie Green
    • 2
  1. 1.Royal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Royal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada

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