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With Israeli troops pushing into the Gaza Strip, it’s hard to envision peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the near term. But there are areas where cooperation has been possible in the past, and might be so again. One of them is a looming challenge across the Middle East: water.

Environmental scholars Clive Lipchin and Richard Friend explain how Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians have worked together at the Arava Institute in southern Israel to develop technologies and strategies for providing water and sanitation to Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. As they see it, working together on shared water challenges “is the only future that is possible for the intertwined reality of Israelis and Palestinians.”

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Jennifer Weeks

Senior Environment + Cities Editor

Palestinians fill drinking water containers at a distribution site in Khan Yunis, south Gaza, on Oct. 8, 2023. Mohammed Talatene/picture alliance via Getty Images

Collaborative water management can be a building block for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

Clive Lipchin, Tel Aviv University; Richard Friend, University of York

As the war between Hamas and Israel grinds forward, two experts explain how Israelis and Palestinians have cooperated to tackle their region’s water challenges.

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