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Israel: Prohibition Against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials

(Mar. 8, 2010) On February 22, 2010, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Penal Law that prohibits bribery of public officials of foreign countries and of international and political entities, including the Palestinian Authority. According to the bill's explanatory notes, the amendment was designed to allow Israel to take part in the international fight against corruption as required by treaties to which it is a signatory: the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEDC) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. The explanatory notes further state that the prohibition is designed to create an international climate free of corruption based on the notion that bribery of foreign public officials in international transactions threatens democratic organizations and results in harm to economic development and to business competiveness. (Penal Law (Amendment No. 106) 5770-2010 and bill, the Knesset website, (last visited Feb. 25, 2010).)