Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Sep 4, 2009

Israel Water Control

There are three areas in the Middle East classified as candidates for a political upheaval due to the shortage of water: Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

Israel, Jordan and the West Bank rely on two main water sources. The Jordan River which starts in the Syrian Golan Height and flows into Lake Tyberius, and into the Jordan valley to finally end into the Dead Sea.

Three agreements were signed between Israel, Jordan for water sharing.

1. American mediation led by E. Johnson (1955) allocated 175 million cu.met. /year of water from the Jordan river to Jordan. The agreement was not implemented because Israel diverted most of the Jordan River water to southern Israel.

2. In the peace agreement between Jordan and Israel, signed in 1994, the previous water allocation was revised and Jordan was allocated 75 million c.met./year. However, after the assasination of prime minister Rabin, the new prime minister Natanyahu dropped Jordan's share of water to 25 million cu.met./year. That portion of water was highly polluted.

3. The peace agreement of 1994 included a statement whereby Jordan was prevented from drilling wells in Waddi Araba, which is part of Jordan. Hence, Israel was given full control of the underground water reserve.

The above reasons led to an increase in water shortage in Jordan and led to its classification among the five most water impoverished countries in the world. The average individual share of water has been estimated to be 150 cu.met./year, only 50 cu.met./year of that is allocated for personal drinking.

Second, the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians over the control of water, began with the occupation of the West Bank in 1967. Since then Israel began to control water resources, and the Palestinians were prevented from drilling wells from their underground reserves.

Under the Oslo agreement of 1995, Israel is allocated 57 cu.met.of water per person per year from all sources. However, the Israelis gets 246 cu.met./person/year. The source of such amount is derived from the West Bank underground reserves.

Since its creation in 1948, Israel relied totally on the use of military force to implement its political ideology of expansion.

*Kevin, your comments are an addition to my blog. Please keep it up

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