By Jeffrey K. Sosland
Examines cooperation and clash over water within the center East.
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Extra info for Cooperating Rivals: The Riparian Politics of the Jordan River Basin
21 The schemes fall into two categories: plans centered on Palestine/Israel and on Transjordan/Jordan. The programs sought to survey the amount of available water and proposed means for developing this valuable commodity. In addition to state development, international donors also saw the water plans as critical to Palestinian refugee resettlement. The water schemes are historically significant in that they incorporated basic concepts for Jordan’s and Israel’s future water systems and crystallized the future political disputes relating to the issue.
Jordan took control of the area known as the West Bank, which it subsequently annexed. Middle East states did not regard the armistice agreements as a permanent border arrangement. Despite constant violations and minor readjustments, though, the boundaries between Israel and its neighbors essentially remained the same until the 1967 ArabIsraeli War. The end of the 1948 War brought with it great shifts in population and a rearrangement of alliances surrounding water resources. In early 1949, the United Nations estimated that 700,000 Arab refugees—about 70 percent of the Arab population of Palestine—had fled or had been expelled from Israelicontrolled territories.
6 Ch. 6 Acute Conflict Subcases (Dates) Demilitarized Zone/Hula wetlands (1951) Demilitarized Zone/B’not Yacov (1953) Upper Jordan Arab Diversion (1965–1966) Israeli Bombing of East Ghor Canal (1968–1970) Jordan and/or Israel Water-Scarcity-Related Mobilization of Troops on the Yarmouk’s Banks (1979, 1986, and 1987) Ch. 2 Ch. 2 Ch. 3 Ch. 4 Ch. 4 plan provides important rules, but the experience highlights to the riparians the limits of public, formal, multilateral water cooperation. It also emphasizes the limits of the United States as a third party facilitator.