Business Engagement with Palestinian Company

For an Israeli company to work with Palestinian vendor, there are some issues to take care of:

  1. Selecting the right vendor
  2. Prepare the right contract
  3. Payments to the Palestinian Vendor
  4. Permits to enter Israel for the Palestinian Engineers
None of the above are trivial to those who are not familiar working with Palestinians, I will try to put them in context here: 

Selecting the right vendor

In order to do it right, you need a list of the available providers, look for references and run some vetting processes. Working with Palestinian companies is not yet wide spread knowledge so many find themselves clueless and don’t know how to even start the process, or whom can they trust to turn to with questions.

tip: You can start your search by visiting the sight of the Palestinian ICT Assoc. of Companies (PITA) brows their member companies and through their client list find a client you know and get reference from. You can also drop me a note and I’ll be happy to share some our knowledge base.

Prepare the right contract

The majority of the legal consultants in Israel do not have any experience working with Palestinian vendors, you can check your company lawyer about that, you most likely get this answer: “I can check for you, but I have no experience doing that”.

tip: Ensure that an expert reviews your contract, make sure that disputes are dealt with in the Israeli system by the Israeli law.

Payment to the Palestinian Vendor

This is tricky, you won’t find the Palestinian banks listed in the internet services for transfers in the Israeli banks. The banks are not that easy with their process of transferring money to the Palestinian Territory. You need also to get a special invoice called Makassa from the Palestinians, and you have to send the original copy of the Makessa to a special department in the treasury. The international companies use international accounts for those payments in many cases.

tip: Start by talking to your bank rep. ask them to investigate what is their procedure and what papers do you need to prepare from the treasury in advance (e.g. waiver of tax deduction). Insist that you know that the process is not like transfer to any other country. Be prepared that you might get directions but it will be fine tuned on the fly. 

Using checks is not recommended as almost automatically your bank will decline the check when your vendor will try to cash it.

Permit to enter Israel for the Palestinian Engineers

There is a special department in the Civil Administration who deals with Permits, some of the Palestinian companies take care of this for their employees, you will need from time to time to help by issuing a Request Letter.  But it is also likely that you’ll need to take care of the requests yourself. The Palestinian engineers who are asking for permit have to get their “magnetic cards” first, this is a kind of an ID card issued by the Civil Administration.

tip: The Civil Admin department asks that you submit a request for a permit 10 days in advance. Contact them first to get the forms for the request, follow their instructions about the format of your mail and its content very carefully, any deviation will cause a discard of your request. Once submitted, wait 24 hours to get an auto respond to your mail, call them if you didn’t. Then call again a day before your requested date to ensure it’s in process, most likely that they will issue the permit in the last moment. Make sure in advance that your Palestinian employee holds a valid Magnetic Card, get their ID# and their personal phone number.

The Resolution

GeoFree Software is the first of its kind company, aims to resolves those issues. 

We take care of all of the “headache” I mention above, GeoFree Software offers you this:

  • GeoFree Software is an Israeli entity. The company is registered in Israel. So the business engagement (contract) is with an Israeli company. Your contract is with us, we’re responsible for the delivery.
  • Selecting the vendor: We’re specialised in the Palestinian High Tech industry, strength and weaknesses of each,  we’re constantly updated with trends and changes, we know how to find the best vendors, who are their key personnel and their reputation.
  • Permits: We’re taking care of the permits to our personnel. We also know and are known to the Civil Administration. We’re familiar with the trends and policy updates in the Civil Administration regarding to permits-for and employments-of Palestinians.
  • Payments: Your transactions are with GeoFree Software – an Israeli company.
  • We offer one more invaluable asset, decades of experience in Software Development in the Israeli and International market, we make sure to find the right personnel that can live up to your standards and speak your language. We’re responsible for the delivery.
  • And… we’re local, we speak your language,  celebrate the same holidays and vote in the same elections….