The Palestinian Authority is one of Israel's larger trading partners, with some $20 billion in goods and services passing between the PA and Israel annually. In order to increase the confidence of businesses on both sides, the PA and Israel on Wednesday signed an agreement establishing an official arbitration center for business disputes. The center will adjudicate disputes between parties that apply for a ruling, and the ruling will be recognized by courts in Israel and the PA.
The arbitration center, to be called the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC), will follow the internationally recognized arbitration rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
Representing Israel at the organization will be Oren Shachor, President of the ICC Israel. The PA's representative will be Munib al-Masri, head of the PA's ICC chapter. The two will be assisted by Rifat Hisarcıklioglu, President of ICC Turkey and a member of the ICC's Executive Board. Hisarcıklioglu is the head of foreign trade in Turkey, and is considered very close to the heads of state in Turkey.
Speaking to business daily Calcalist, Shachor said that the PA had committed itself to respect the JAC's decisions. From now on, he predicted, many deals between Israeli and PA businesses will include a section that will refer disputes to the JAC. Within several years, he said, he expected Israeli-PA trade to double, with the new confidence that businesses will have in the arbitration process.