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Palestinian Investments Are Not Prohibited

September 26, 2004

Amir Hussain (letter, Sept. 7) erroneously claims that it is impossible for Arabs to invest in the Palestinian infrastructure because the 1994 Protocol on Economic Relations "prohibits Palestinians from starting any new industry that would compete with an existing Israeli industry." In fact, the relevant part of the protocol states: "Each side will do its best to avoid damage to the industry of the other side and will take into consideration the concerns of the other side in its industrial policy."

International donors and investors have poured money into Palestinian infrastructure. For example, the World Bank's portfolio in the Palestinian areas consisted of 16 active investment projects as of August 2000, with total commitments of $297.9 million. The site identifies improvements in the health and power sectors, and municipal and community infrastructure services, among others.

Tamar Sternthal

Senior Research Analyst

Committee for Accuracy

in Middle East Reporting

in America, Boston

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