Since its establishment, in 1994, the Palestinian Authority has encouraged the ‘return’ of Palestinians to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has also enacted an investment promotion law in order to attract foreign capital and investments. These two policies are motivated by the assumption that human and financial capitals are both necessary for building Palestinian institutions, and preparing for statehood. Almost 20 years later, the results though are slight. The few who have returned have had little impact, while many others, mostly with university degrees or the highly-skilled, emigrate. The Palestinian Authority law does not define highly-skilled migration. The lack of laws related to issues of migration is largely due to its lack of jurisdiction. Exit of residents and foreign nationals from the occupied Palestinian territories, including those under Palestinian Authority control, and their re-entry, are still regulated and administered by Israel. This lack of regulation has long been accompanied by a lack of policies to deal with a phenomenon (namely the emigration of highly-skilled Palestinians), that is rightly considered as dangerous for the Palestinian cause and for Palestinian unity more generally; most importantly, it also has negative consequences on Palestinian society and the Palestinian economy (thus, hindering state-building efforts).. Attracting highly-skilled immigrants and limiting the damage from the emigration of highly-skilled Palestinians cannot be managed by legal regulation alone. A decision of a highly-skilled individual to migrate is not only an economic decision. Political and security factors, coupled with the long Israeli occupation, have also decided the direction of highly-skilled migration flows.
Keywords: #Palestine_Emigration_and_immigration, #Emigration_and_immigration, #Law_and _legislation_Palestine.
Khalil, Asem. “Legal and Regulatory Framework of Highly-Skilled Migration: The Case of the Palestinian Authority”. In: Migration from North Africa and the Middle East: Skilled Migrants, Development and Globalization. Philippe Fargues and Alessandra Venturini (eds.), pp. 112-133. London, I.B. Tauris, 2015.
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