Palestinian National Authority – Wikipedia, the free …

Posted By on May 22, 2015

The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; Arabic: as-Sula al-Waanya al-Filasnya) was the interim self-government body[4] established to govern Areas A and B of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a consequence of the 1993 Oslo Accords.[5][6] Following elections in 2006 and the subsequent Gaza conflict between the Fatah and Hamas parties, its authority had extended only as far as the West Bank. Since January 2013, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority rebranded itself as the State of Palestine in official documents,[7][8][9] after the United Nations voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member UN observer state.[10][11][12]

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. Further negotiations were then meant to take place between the two parties regarding its final status. As of 2013[update], more than eighteen years following the formulation of the Authority, this status has yet to be reached.[citation needed]

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. Over time, political change has meant that the areas governed by the Authority have also changed. Negotiations with several Israeli governments had resulted in the Authority gaining further control of some areas, but control was then lost in some areas when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) retook several strategic positions during the Second ("Al-Aqsa") Intifada. In 2005, after the Second Intifada, Israel withdrew unilaterally from its settlements in the Gaza Strip, thereby expanding Palestinian Authority control to the entire strip.[clarification needed]

In the Palestinian legislative elections on 25 January 2006, Hamas emerged victorious and nominated Ismail Haniyeh as the Authority's Prime Minister. However, the national unity Palestinian government effectively collapsed when a violent conflict between Hamas and Fatah erupted, mainly in the Gaza Strip. After the Gaza Strip was taken over by Hamas on 14 June 2007, the Authority's Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government and appointed Salam Fayyad as Prime Minister.

Though the PA claims authority over all Palestinian territories, Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip means its authority is de facto limited to the West Bank. The Authority's budget derives mainly from various aid programs and the Arab League, while the Hamas government in Gaza was mostly dependent on Iran until the onset of the Arab Spring.[clarification needed]

Since 2007, the Palestinian Authority has continued to oversee the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, while the Hamas government has continued to control the Gaza Strip. A reconciliation agreement to unite their governments, signed in Cairo in 2011, was ratified by the 2012 HamasFatah Doha agreement. Renewed tensions between them, however, plus the effects of the Arab Spring (especially the crisis in Syria) have postponed its implementation. In 2011, representatives of the Authority failed to have their United Nations (UN) status upgraded, although their UNESCO status was upgraded to state representation. In July 2012, the Hamas government in Gaza was reported as considering a declaration of the independence of the Gaza Strip, with the support of neighboring Egypt.[13]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is an interim administrative body established in accordance with the GazaJericho Agreement[14] after the Oslo Accords to assume the responsibilities of the Israeli military administration in populated Palestinian centers (Area A) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until final status negotiations with Israel are concluded.[15][16] The administrative responsibilities accorded to the PA are limited to civil matters and internal security and do not include external security or foreign affairs.[16] Palestinians in the diaspora and inside Israel do not vote in elections for the offices of the Palestinian Authority.[17] The PA should not be confused with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) who continues to enjoy international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, representing them at the United Nations under the name "Palestine".[18][19]

The PA has received financial assistance from the European Union and the United States (approximately US$1 billion combined in 2005). All direct aid was suspended on 7 April 2006 as a result of the Hamas victory in parliamentary elections.[20][21] Shortly thereafter, aid payments resumed, but were channeled directly to the offices of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.[22]Conflict between Hamas and Fatah later in 2006 resulted in Hamas taking exclusive control over the administration of all PA institutions in the Gaza Strip. Since 9 January 2009, when Mahmoud Abbas' term as President was supposed to have ended and elections were to have been called, Hamas supporters and many in the Gaza Strip have withdrawn recognition for his Presidency and instead consider Aziz Dweik, who served as the speaker of the house in the Palestinian Legislative Council, to be the acting President until new elections can be held.[23][24] No Western financial assistance is given to the PA authorities in Gaza and Western governments do not recognize anyone but Abbas to be the President.

The Gaza International Airport was built by the PA in the city of Rafah, but operated for only a brief period before being destroyed by Israel following the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000. A sea port was also being constructed in Gaza but was never completed (see below).

The creation of a Palestinian police force was called for under the Oslo Accords.[16] The first Palestinian police force of 9,000 was deployed in Jericho in 1994, and later in Gaza.[16] These forces initially struggled to control security in the areas in which it had partial controlled and because of this Israel delayed expansion of the area to be administered by the PA.[16] By 1996, the PA security forces were estimated to include anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 recruits.[25] PA security forces employ some armored cars, and a limited number carry automatic weapons.[26] Some Palestinians opposed to or critical of the peace process perceive the Palestinian security forces to be little more than a proxy of the State of Israel.[16]

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