Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Brian Dowd-Uribe

Second Advisor

Dana Zartner


This thesis analyzes the Israeli-Palestinian water issue using a settler colonial framework. It highlights the contributions made to this field under the often used framework of hydro-hegemony to understand water issues in Israel-Palestine. Using a settler colonial framework helps to better describe the issue and highlight the slow creep of settler colonialism over the years. It also helps to see beyond the power dynamics and its relationship to domination and consent to understand the realities that Palestinians face on the ground. In addition, this thesis will help build towards exploring resistance to water control under settler colonialism. Therefore, this thesis uses the village of Bardala, located in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, as a case study to examine Israel’s control over water resources, and the restrictions it has placed on accessing water for Palestinians. Through interviews and secondary sources, this thesis shows how settler colonial policies disrupt the entire fabric of Palestinian society. These policies consolidated Israel’s control over the water resources through various tools such as the permit regime which was established under the Oslo Interim Agreement of 1995, prevention of developing and constructing water infrastructures, attacks on water facilities and confiscation of agricultural equipment. In return, Palestinians have been engaging in various forms of everyday resistance methods to remain steadfast and continue to exist in the face of occupation. Therefore, using a settler colonial framework shows how the control over water resources is part of a greater settler colonial framework aimed at accessing territory and eliminating Palestinians from their lands through various processes and structures.