While the non-oil economy of the Middle East is largely agricultural, it is based in an arid, untamable desert environment. Water is naturally scarce in the region, and there has always been conflict over possession and use of water resources. Recent history has shown that while water supplies in the Middle East are limited, maldistribution and overuse of water resources by Israel has aggravated development, and ultimately peace, between Israel and Palestine, and the region as a whole. Specifically, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be attributed, in part, to disputes over scarce and valuable water resources of the Jordan River basin and its aquifers.
Niehuss, Juliette. "The Legal Implications of the Israeli-Palestinian Water Crisis." Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Winter 2005,13-18, 76.