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One necessary component to the success of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is economic development and growth in the area under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). One of the principal requirements for economic growth, and quite possibly for the Palestinian Authority's economic survival, is foreign investment in the West Bank and Gaza (WBG). As they currently exist, laws concerning foreign investment in WBG are a quagmire. Indeed, it is a challenge for an investor to simply identify which law applies to which area, let alone to interpret the law. At the same time many of the protections often found in a transparent 'rule of law' society are still lacking in the WBG.

This article provides an examination of one such issue-the commercial arbitration laws applicable to foreign investment in WBG. It first briefly examines the operative arbitration laws applicable in the WBG. The paper addresses the Law on the Encouragement of Investment adopted by the Palestinian National Authority in 1995 and revised in 1998. It then reviews existing standards in international conventions and in neighboring countries. Next, it addresses relevant PA legislation, the legal personality of the PA, and what the PA can do to respond to the international community's need for certainty in dispute resolution procedures. Next, it examines how a PA arbitration law fits into the Interim Agreement. It then reviews the PA's current draft arbitration law, and finally, it suggests a draft Palestinian international commercial arbitration law. It considers, as well, the relationship between the PA and Israel in terms of the PA's ability to make legal agreements prior to any final resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.



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