OPTIMA: Optimisation   for Sustainable
Water Resources Management

Project Partners: IPCRI, Palestine/Israel

  Israel/Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI)
P.O.Box. 9321,   91092 Jerusalem
Tel: ++472 2 676 9460   Fax: ++472 2 676 8011
  Contacts: Gershon Baskin  
    Zakaria al-Qaq  

IPCRI will contribute a case study of the Alexander River, spanning the West Bank and Israeli territory, and contribute their experience in institutional issues across the work packages.

The Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information(IPCRI) was established in 1989 as a joint Israeli/Palestinian initiative based in Jerusalem. It is an NGO devoted to creating better relations between Israelis and Palestinians and more specifically to the promotion of dialogue over issues which have to be resolved if there is to be a final settlement of the on-going conflict between the two peoples. Its work has focused on economic co-operation, security, the future of Jerusalem, peace education, and environment and water. IPCRI has a small permanent staff but draws into its various projects hundreds of professional and experts from a wide variety of disciplines. Its funding comes largely from the international community (including both national and international organizations such as the World Bank and the European Union) and from private foundations in North America concerned for the peace of the region. It has both an Israeli director (Gershon Baskin) and a Palestinian counterpart (Zakaria al Qaq) and seeks to find common ground between the two communities in all aspects of its work.

Team members:

    Dr. Gershon Baskin is Director and founder of IPCRI, which has worked for 13 years on policy options which have been made available to the two sides in the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Policy development, fund raising, administration, and contact with the local and international community, have all formed part of the work. Hundreds of conferences, seminars and other initiatives have been organized over the years - all of them involving Israeli and Palestinian officials, academics, NGO representatives, among others.
    Dr. Baskin holds a Doctorate in International Affairs, Greenwich University, USA (1993); a MA in International Affairs, Greenwich University, USA(1991); and a BA in Politics and History of Middle East, New York University (1978). He was Director of the Institution for education in Jewish-Arab co-existence - an official initiative of the Israeli Ministry of Education (1981 to 1988); author of numerous articles on aspects of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (including water issues).

    Dr. Zakaria al-Qaq is Joint Director, IPCRI. He obtained his PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland(1988); Diploma in mass communication, University of Cairo 1978; BA in English Literature, University of Kuwait(1976). From 1979 to 1993 he was Journalist/Editor at the Kuwait Times, an English language newspaper published in Kuwait. Dr. al-Qaq is directing a large range of research, dialogue and publication projects. Responsibilities include staff management, financial oversight, and fundraising. Academically responsible for the work of IPCRI on security concerns (including water related issues). Much of the work relates to contacts at senior level with significant Palestinian representatives of government, academics, NGO representatives, and professionals.

    Robin Twite is the Director, Environment and Water Program, Israel Palestine Center for Reseach and Information (IPCRI) since 1996. Previously, he was a career official in the British Council serving in Israel, India, Portugal and Ethiopia. Responsible at various times for the administration of a 60 million dollar aid program in Eastern India and for the British Council's world wide library and information network.
    1976 to 1980 advisor to the Council on non-formal education world wide.
    1990-1995 - worked on conflict resolution at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    1996 to present - Director of program at IPCRI which aims to bring together Israeli and Palestinian officials and experts to work on environmental issues of joint concern. The program is financed by international donors.

    Ms. Nancy Rumman

    Mr. Haddad was born 1950 in Nablus, Palestine. He holds a Dipl. Eng. in Structural Civil Engineering from the University of Kiril and Methody - Architectural and Civil Engineering Faculty,Skopje, Macedonia (1976), a master in Sanitary Engineering from Syracuse University, NY, USA(1983), and a PhD in Environmental Civil Engineering also from Syracuse University, NY, USA(1986). Mr. Haddad worked over four years at the Housing Corporation of Jordan (1976-1980), moved to the States to conduct his graduate studies (1981-1986), and then joined the Faculty of Engineering at An-Najah National University in Nablus in 1986 as an assistant professor. He obtained his promotion to associate then to full professor in Environmental Engineering in 1994 and 2000, respectively. Haddad's main research area is in water quality and resource management. He has published over one hundred papers in his field , and edited over ten international conference proceedings and refereed books. He served as head of Civil engineering Department at An-Najah National University (1986-1992), Coordinator of the Palestinian Water Committee associated with the Peace negotiation with Israel (1991-1995), Director of Water and Environmental Studies Center (1994-1996), and Dean of the College of Engineering (1996-1998). In addition to his academic commitment with An-Najah National University, Mr. Haddad provides consultation to various Palestinian and international organizations and has worked on several joint Israeli/Palestinian projects related to environment and water issues.

    Nir Becker, Ph.D. serves as the Head of the Department of Economics and Management at Tel Hai College and senior research fellow at the Natural Resources and Environmental Research Center at the University of Haifa.

    Dr. Becker specializes in Environmental and Water Economics. His interest in water economics is within the area of optimal allocation of water resources and conflict resolution from an economic perspective. He has published papers in this area both on theoretical ground as well as applied research. His applied research dealt with the Great lakes and the Middle East water conflict. In his research, he utilises concepts as optimisation techniques, game theory and valuation methods. He has been actively involved in cooperative projects designed to further Israeli/Palestinian cooperation a variety of different contexts.

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