This paper reflects on the concepts of water security and water diplomacy, describes the state of water security in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories, and presents a set of recommendations to decision makers designed to advance Israeli Palestinian water security and shared national security concerns.

The paper contends that water security plays a fundamental role in ensuring the economic
development and the social and political stability of a country, and therefore must be regarded
as a national priority issue. Conditions of water insecurity can trigger social tensions, and even lead to uprisings, and therefore pose a threat both internally at a domestic level, and to bordering states at a regional level. The paper suggests that by advancing water diplomacy, states can enhance water security, build regional cooperation and contribute to peace and stability.

This paper provides an overview of Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian water relations and argues that Israeli water diplomacy with Jordan has led to successful cooperation, based on a common understanding that advancing a shared water security agenda serves each country’s national interests. The paper then argues that Israeli water policies post 1967, and post Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority, have too often failed to consider broader
national security interests. There is a growing understanding, however, that the current state of water insecurity in the Palestinian Territories and especially in Gaza, constitutes a security threat to Israel, with regard to cross-border pollution, public health and economic underdevelopment.

The paper concludes with a set of recommendations on Israeli Palestinian water diplomacy,
highlighting the national security benefits to Israel and the region.

“Israeli Water Diplomacy and National Security Concerns”. (

The paper was presented at our conference “Praying for Rain or Advancing Water Diplomacy? The Water Crises Facing the Region: Challenges and Opportunities for National Security,” held on January 11th with the support of the German Embassy in Israel and in cooperation with the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). For more details, including a summary of the event, quotes and videos of all speakers, click here:

In addition, read a recently published article on Reuters written by EcoPeace’s 3 Co-Directors entitled “To make peace in the Middle East, focus first on water”. (