Keywords: preventive diplomacy, Israeli-Palestinian water conflict, security, international relations theory, conflict resolution theory, international water law, up-stream and down-stream positions, joint management institutions
Preventive diplomacy, international relations, conflict resolution and international water law: implications for success and failure of the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict
After the cold war, environmental conflicts have become a predominant issue for analysis as a function of state security, negotiation, conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy. Conflicts over water are perhaps one of the most dominant issues in the environment-security dialectic. Specifically, water conflicts in the Middle East are of very serious concern given the aridity of the region, population growth, its relative low development, and the historical protracted conflict that has plagued the region. While the paper discusses issues relevant for global water conflicts, it focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict (given its centrality to the regional conflict). It considers the historical claims, international legal claims and negotiating positions of the parties. It also makes references to the water negotiations that took place during the 2000 Camp David talks. The paper then shows how environmental preventive diplomacy may be applied to the water conflict in the Middle East by referring to several related guidelines including theories of international relations, conflict resolution and international law and demonstrates their relevance to preventive diplomacy and the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict.