This paper provides a diagnostic account of the nature and severity of the trans-boundary water resources conflict in the Middle East and how it is intertwined with issues of high politics. The concepts and analytical framework provided in this paper represent universal principles that, while applying to the Middle East water conflict, are also reflective of and applicable to many other disputes over natural resources around the world. This aspect about the research is particularly of great interest to the quest and scope of many other researches, considering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is regarded as the sine qua non from which many troubling aspects emanate in different part of the Middle East and beyond. By outlining the problem and the root causes and nature of the water crisis in arid regions, this paper seeks to provide evidence of lack of equitable water sharing in the status quo water allocation and ample justification for the need to apply equitable principles to promote cooperation and peace. More precisely, this research will reflect on the way in which conflicting representations of hydrological resources have created tension, conflict, and injustice in general, with particular emphasis on the Middle East water conflict issues of the occupied territories, namely the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.

Author Bio(s)

Ahmed Abukhater holds a Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on water resources management and conflict resolution and mediation, a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering. Being a native Palestinian from the Gaza Strip and raised during the Palestinian Intifada in a region engulfed in a weighty political power struggle, Mr. Abukhater became cognizant of the genuine value of water as the sustainer of life and peace. Email: AAbukhater@esri.com


Arab-Israeli conflict, Golan Heights, high politics, Middle East, occupied territories, Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Palestinian territories, trans-boundary water resources

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.