Palestinian National Authority

Palestinian National Authority

The Palestinian Authority (PA; Arabic: السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية‎ As-Sulṭah Al-Waṭaniyyah Al-Filasṭīniyyah) is the administrative organization, established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, following the Oslo Accords. Since its establishment in 1994, it has named itself Palestinian National Authority. Since 2006 elections and especially the Gaza conflict between Fatah and Hamas, its authority extends in the West Bank alone.

The Palestinian Authority was formed in 1994, pursuant to the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel, as a five-year interim body, during which final status negotiations between the two parties were to take place. As of 2012, more than seventeen years following the formulation of the PA, a final status has yet to be reached. According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was designated to have exclusive control over both security-related and civilian issues in Palestinian urban areas (referred to as "Area A"), and only civilian control over Palestinian rural areas ("Area B"). The remainder of the territories, including Israeli settlements, the Jordan Valley region, and bypass roads between Palestinian communities, were to remain under Israeli control ("Area C"). East Jerusalem was excluded from the Accords. Palestinian Authority governed areas have periodically changed, due to the political situation with Israel. The Authority gained several areas over negotiations with several Israeli governments, but lost some during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada), when the IDF retook several strategic positions. Following the Second Intifada, Israel effectively withdrew all its settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005 in a unilateral move, expanding the Palestinian governed areas in that region.

In Palestinian legislative elections, which took place on 25 January 2006, Hamas turned victorious and Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as Prime Minister. However, the national unity Palestinian government effectively collapsed when Hamas and Fatach engaged into a violent conflict, taking place mainly in the Gaza Strip. After the takeover in Gaza by Hamas on 14 June 2007, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government and appointed Salam Fayad as Prime Minister. Though the new government's authority is claimed to extend to all Palestinian territories, in effect it became limited to the West Bank, as Hamas hasn't recognized the move and continued to rule the Gaza Strip. While PNA budget comes mainly from various aid programs and support of the Arab League, the Hamas Government in Gaza became dependent mainly on Iran until the eruption of the Arab Spring.

Since 2007, the Palestinian Authority has continued to handle the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, while the Hamas government has continued to control Gaza Strip, though they signed a reconciliation agreement to unite the governments in Cairo in 2011, further ratified in the 2012 Hamas–Fatah Doha agreement. Tensions between the parties and regional circumstances of the Arab Spring, especially the crisis in Syria, however further postponed the implementation of reconciliation. In 2011, PNA representatives failed to upgrade their status in the UN, receiving state status only in UNESCO. On July 2012, it was reported that Hamas Government in Gaza was considering to declare the independence of the Gaza Strip with the help of Egypt. On August 2012, Foreign Minister of the PNA Riyad al-Malki told reporters in Ramallah, that PNA would ask to be made a non-member observer state at the U.N. General Assembly on 27 September 2012.

Read more about Palestinian National AuthorityOverview, Geography, Politics and Internal Structure, Administrative Divisions, Foreign Relations, Economy and Budget, International Aid

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