A recent report from Amnesty International finds that Israel has developed discriminatory practices that have created sever water scarcity for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Much has been made of the potential for resource scarcity to cause violent security issues. In this case it seems that insecurity has resulted in resource scarcity. According to the Amnesty report Israel has prevented Palestinians from accessing the surface water of the Jordan River, dominated use of the Mountain aquifer located under the West Bank, and prevented capital upkeep of sanitation stations in Gaza that are critical to refreshing the coastal aquifer. The impacts of the imbalance land heavily on the Palestinian households dependent on water from these natural sources. Decreased agricultural productivity and high costs to get needed clean water has placed substantial burdens on the economic well-being of affected households. The ongoing violence in Israel may not be caused by resource scarcity but it seems likely that the inequality and desperation caused by discriminatory Israeli water policies breeds societal insecurity.
Posted on November 3, 2009 by Tom Nagle