Palestinian National Authority

Palestinian National Authority

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The Palestinian Authority (PA; Al-Sulṭa Al-Waṭaniyyah Al-Filasṭīniyyah) is the administrative organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 established to govern
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 parts of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. However, since then it has named itself Palestinian National Authority.

The Palestinian Authority was formed in 1994, pursuant to the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 between the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) and the government of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, as a five-year interim
Provisional government
A provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule...

 body, during which final status negotiations between the two parties were to take place. , more than sixteen years following the formulation of the PNA, a final status has yet to be reached. According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was designated to have 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
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 communities, were to remain under exclusive Israeli control ("Area C"). East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 was excluded from the Accords.

Overview



The Palestinian Authority (PA) is an interim administrative body
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also known as the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, the Interim Agreement, Oslo 2, Oslo II, and Taba, was a key and complex agreement governing several aspects of the Palestinian territories of Gaza Strip and the West Bank.-History:It...

 established in accordance with the Gaza-Jericho Agreement
Gaza-Jericho Agreement
The Gaza–Jericho Agreement of 4 May 1994 was a follow-up treaty to the Oslo Accords in which the details of Palestinian autonomy were concluded....

 after the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 to assume the responsibilities of the Israeli military administration in populated Palestinian centers (Area A
Administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until a final status accord would be established...

) in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 until final status negotiations with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 are concluded. The administrative responsibilities accorded to the PNA are limited to civil matters and internal security and do not include external security or foreign affairs. Palestinians in the diaspora
Palestinian diaspora
Palestinian diaspora is a term used to describe Palestinians living outside of historic Palestine - an area today known as Israel and the Palestinian territories or the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip...

 and inside Israel
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

 do not vote in election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s for the offices of the Palestinian Authority. The PA should not be confused with the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) who continues to enjoy international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

, representing them at the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 under the name "Palestine".

The PNA has received financial assistance from the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (approximately USD 1 bln. combined in 2005). All direct aid was suspended on 7 April 2006 as a result of the Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 victory in parliamentary elections. Shortly thereafter, aid payments resumed, but were channeled directly to the offices of Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 in the West Bank. Conflict between Hamas and Fatah later in 2006 resulted in Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 taking exclusive control over the administration of all PNA 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
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, to be the acting President until new elections can be held. No Western financial assistance is given to the PNA authorities in Gaza and Western governments do not recognize anyone but Abbas to be the President.

The Gaza International Airport was built by the PNA in the city of Rafah
Rafah
Rafah , also known as Rafiah, is a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip. Located south of Gaza, Rafah's population of 71,003 is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan form separate localities. Rafah is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate...

, but operated for only a brief period before being razed by Israel following the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada
Al-Aqsa Intifada
The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

 in 2000. A sea port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 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. The first Palestinian police force
Palestinian Security Forces
The Palestinian National Security Forces, also referred to as the presidential guard are the paramilitary forces of the Palestinian National Authority...

 of 9,000 was deployed in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 in 1994, and later in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

. 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 PNA. By 1996, the PNA security forces were estimated to include anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 recruits. employing some armored cars, and a limited number carry automatic weapons. Many 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.

Many Palestinians are dependent on access to the Israeli job market. During the 1990s, Israel began to replace Palestinians with foreign workers. The process was found to be economical and also addressed security concerns. This hurt the Palestinian economy, in particular in the Gaza strip, where 45.7% of the population is under the poverty line according to the CIA World Factbook, but it also affected the West Bank.

Officials

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

5 July 1994 - 26 January 2005
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

26 January 2005 - incumbent
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
Salam Fayyad
Salam Fayyad is a Palestinian politician and Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority of the Palestinian National Authority. His first appointment, on 15 June 2007, which was justified by President Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", has not been confirmed by the...

Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

 (Former official at the International Monetary Fund)
14 June 2007 (Battle of Gaza (2007)
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

) - incumbent
Ismaïl Haniyeh Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

19 February 2005 - 14 June 2007
Ahmad Qurei Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

24 December 2005 - 19 February 2006
Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath is a senior Palestinian official who has held the following titles:*Palestinian chief negotiator*Palestinian cabinet minister*Palestinian International Co-operation Minister*Planning Minister for the Palestinian National Authority...

Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

15 December 2005 - 24 December 2005
Ahmad Qurei Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

7 October 2003 - 15 December 2005
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

19 March 2003 - 7 October 2003

History



For the history of the territories currently controlled by the PNA prior to its establishment, see History of Palestine
History of Palestine
The Southern Levant is the southern portion of the geographical region bordering the Mediterranean between Egypt and Mesopotamia . A narrow definition would take in roughly the same area as the modern states of Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jordan, while a wider definition would...

 and History of the Palestinian territories.


The Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 were signed on 13 September 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) and Israel. The Gaza–Jericho Agreement was signed on 4 May 1994 and detailed the creation of the Palestinian Authority. This was an interim organization created to administer a limited form of Palestinian self-governance in the Palestinian territories for a period of five years during which final-status negotiations would take place. The Palestine Central Council, itself acting on behalf of the Palestine National Council of the PLO, implemented this agreement in a meeting convened in Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

 from 10–11 October 1993, making the Palestinian Authority accountable to the PLO Executive Committee
PLO Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the highest executive body of the Palestine Liberation Organization .Its 18 members are elected by the PLO Parliament, the Palestinian National Council , often as representatives of the PLO member factions...

.

General elections were held for its first legislative body, the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, on 20 January 1996. The expiration of the body's term was 4 May 1999, but elections were not held because of the "prevailing coercive situation". In January 2006, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 won the legislative elections
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

, and thus replaced Arafat's Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 as leading party in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Since the beginning of the Second Intifada, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been undermined both in the Palestinian occupied territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 (Gaza strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

) and abroad. Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 and the George W. Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

 refused to negotiate with Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) and then president of the PA, whom they asserted formed "part of the problem" (concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

) and not of its solution—this despite Arafat's signature of the 1993 Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

. Israel has also targeted Palestinian Authority infrastructure; in particular it has closed parts of the Palestinian sea and air ports, which Israel alleges have been used to transport terrorists and their equipment. Israel's incursions during the Intifada also led to damage to some of the Palestinian computer infrastructure.

These moves were criticized by the Palestinians, who claim that the Palestinian Authority is nearing collapse, and is no longer able to carry out its internal and external obligations. The UN countered by saying that this was "a good thing". This is because these repeated degradations of PA resources and infrastructure have led to complaints by the PA and some of its European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 funders that Israel is deliberately hobbling the PA to restrict its powers of law enforcement in order to present an image of terrorism and lawlessness in the Palestinian Territories.

On 7 July 2004, the Quartet
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 of Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 mediators informed Ahmed Qurei
Ahmed Qurei
Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei , also known by his Arabic Kunya Abu Alaa is a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority...

, Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority is the head of government of the Palestinian Authority government.The Prime Minister's Office was created in 2003 to manage day-to-day activities of the Palestinian government. The position was created because both Israel and the United...

 of the PA from 2003 to 2006, that they were "sick and tired" of the Palestinians failure to carry out promised reforms: "If security reforms are not done, there will be no (more) international support and no funding from the international community"

On 18 July 2004, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 stated that the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of 2005 was unlikely due to instability and violence in the Palestinian Authority.

Following Arafat's death on 11 November 2004, Rawhi Fattuh
Rawhi Fattuh
Rawhi Fattuh is the former Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and was the interim President of the Palestinian Authority, following the death of Yasser Arafat on November 11, 2004 until January 15, 2005. Under Palestinian law, he was to hold the post for 60 days until an election is...

, leader of the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 became Acting President
Acting president
An Acting President is a person who temporarily fills the role of an organization's or country's president, either when the real president is unavailable or when the post is vacant .-See also:*Acting *Acting President of Pakistan*Acting President of Malta*Acting President of...

 of the Palestinian Authority as provided for in Article 54(2) of the Authority's Basic Law and Palestinian Elections Law.

On 19 April 2005, Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 the president of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 agreed to aid the Palestinian Authority stating, "We support the efforts of President Abbas to reform the security services and fight against terrorism [...] If we are waiting for President Abbas to fight terrorism, he cannot do it with the resources he has now. [...] We will give the Palestinian Authority technical help by sending equipment, training people. We will give the Palestinian Authority helicopters and also communication equipment."

The Palestinian Authority became responsible for civil administration in some rural areas, as well as security in the major cities of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Although the five-year interim period expired in 1999, the final status agreement has yet to be concluded despite attempts such as the Camp David 2000 Summit
Camp David 2000 Summit
The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

, the Taba summit
Taba Summit
The Taba summit were talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held from January 21 to January 27, 2001 at Taba in the Sinai peninsula...

, and the unofficial Geneva Accords
Geneva accords
The Geneva Accords, known formally as the agreements on the settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan, were signed on 14 April 1988 between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the United States and the Soviet Union serving as guarantors....

.

In August 2005, Israeli Prime minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 began his unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza strip, ceding full effective internal control of the Strip to the Palestinian Authority but retained control of its borders including air and sea (except for the Egyptian border).. This increased the percentage of land in the Gaza strip nominally governed by the PNA from 60 percent to 100 percent.

Palestinian legislative elections
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

 took place on 25 January 2006. Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 was victorious and Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as Prime Minister on 16 February 2006 and sworn in on 29 March 2006. However, when a Hamas-led government was formed, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the United States, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the European Union froze all funds to the Palestinian Authority, after Hamas refused to recognize Israel, renounce violence, and agree to past agreements. These countries view Hamas as a terrorist organization.

In December 2006, Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the PA, declared that the PA will never recognize Israel: "We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem."

In an attempt to resolve the financial and diplomatic impasse, the Hamas-led government together with Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 agreed to form a unity government
Palestinian government of March 2007
The Palestinian national unity government formed on March 17, 2007 was a Palestinian cabinet headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, founded following Saudi-sponsored negotiations in Mecca. On June 14 2007, Following the Hamas military takeover of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian President...

. Haniyeh resigned on 15 February 2007 as part of the agreement. The unity government was finally formed on 18 March 2007 under Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and consisted of members from Hamas, Fatah and other parties and independents.

After the takeover in Gaza by Hamas on 14 June 2007, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas dismissed the government and on 15 June 2007 appointed Salam Fayad Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority is the head of government of the Palestinian Authority government.The Prime Minister's Office was created in 2003 to manage day-to-day activities of the Palestinian government. The position was created because both Israel and the United...

 to form a new government. Though the new government's authority is claimed to extend to all Palestinian territories, in effect it is limited to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. The Fayad government has won widespread international support. Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 said in late June 2007 that the West Bank-based Cabinet formed by Fayad was the sole legitimate Palestinian government, and Egypt moved its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank. Hamas, which has effective control of the Gaza Strip, faces international diplomatic and economic isolation.

A six-month truce between Hamas and Israel ended on 19 December 2008. Hamas claimed that Israel broke the truce on 4 November 2008, and that Israel had failed to lift the Gaza Strip blockade, and Israel blamed Hamas for the rocket fire directed at southern Israeli towns and cities. The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead in Israel and as the Gaza Massacre in the Arab world, was a three-week bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel, and hundreds of rocket attacks on south of Israel which...

 began on 27 December 2008 (11:30 a.m. local time; 9:30 a.m. UTC) when the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 launched a military campaign codenamed Operation Cast Lead in response to rocket fire from the area, targeting the members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party
Governance of the Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006 and ousted Fatah officials as part of the Battle of Gaza . Hamas' political and military rival, Fatah, controls the West Bank. Both regimes regard themselves as the sole legitimate...

, Hamas.

A reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas was reached by the two governments in Cairo on 27 April 2011. The two agreed to form a unity government, and to hold elections in both territories within 12 months of the establishment of such a government. The deal also permits the entry of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 into the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 and holding of elections to its Palestine National Council decision-making body. The Palestinian Authority continues to handle security in the West Bank, as does Hamas in Gaza. They will form a joint security committee to decide on future security arrangements. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu objected because Hamas still calls for the destruction of Israel. The United States said the new Palestinian government must recognize Israel, continue previous agreements with it and renounce violence.

Politics and internal structure


The politics of the Palestinian Authority take place within the framework of a semi-presidential
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

 multi-party
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, with the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 (PLC), an executive President
President of the Palestinian National Authority
The President of the Palestinian National Authority is the highest-ranking political position in the Palestinian National Authority ....

, and a Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority is the head of government of the Palestinian Authority government.The Prime Minister's Office was created in 2003 to manage day-to-day activities of the Palestinian government. The position was created because both Israel and the United...

 leading a Cabinet. According to the Palestinian Basic Law which was signed by Arafat in 2002 after a long delay, the current structure of the PNA is based on three separate branches of power: executive, legislative, and judiciary. The PNA was created by, is ultimately accountable to, and has historically been associated with, the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO), with whom Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 negotiated the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

.

The PLC is an elected body of 132 representatives, and must approve all government cabinet positions proposed by the Prime Minister, must also confirm the Prime Minister himself upon nomination by the President. The Judiciary Branch has yet to be properly formalized. The President of the PA is directly elected by the people, and the holder of this position is also considered to be the commander-in chief of the armed forces. In an amendment to the Basic Law approved in 2003, the president appoints the Prime minister who is also chief of the security services in the Palestinian territories. The prime minister chooses a cabinet of ministers and runs the government, reporting directly to the president.

As opposed to other Arab countries, the PLC has historically demonstrated considerable power, and has frequently caused changes in government appointments through threats of no-confidence votes. Many critical votes are won in the government's favor without an outright majority. Since the death of Arafat, the PLC has reinvigorated its activity, and commonly summons senior executive officials to testify before it. Parliamentary elections were conducted in January 2006 after the recent passage of an overhauled election law that increased the number of seats from 88 to 132. The Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, was elected as President of PNA in a landslide victory in 1996. Subsequent elections were postponed, ostensibly due to the eruption of the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Al-Aqsa Intifada
The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

 and the Israeli military clampdown that accompanied it. However, internal Palestinian strife was also a reason for the disorganization in government. After Arafat's death in 2004, new elections occurred on both presidential and local levels. Although almost 80% of the employees of the PA were local Palestinians, higher posts were occupied mostly by PLO officials who returned from exile once the PNA was established in 1994. To many local Palestinians, these "returnees" were a source of bureaucracy and corruption.

Arafat's administration was criticized for its lack of democracy, widespread corruption among officials, and the division of power among families and numerous governmental agencies with overlapping functions. He established over ten distinct security organizations through various mechanisms in an alleged divide et impera scheme, which is claimed to have guaranteed an atmosphere of power-struggle in the Authority which enabled him to preserve overall control. Both Israel and the US declared they lost trust in Arafat as a partner and refused to negotiate with him, regarding him as linked to terrorism. Arafat denied this, and was visited by other leaders around the world up until his death. However, this began a push for change in the Palestinian leadership. In 2003, Arafat succumbed to domestic and international pressure and appointed Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 (Abu Mazen) as prime minister of the PNA. Abbas resigned four months later because of lack of support from Israel, the US, and Arafat himself. He was later chosen as his Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 party's candidate for president of the PA in 2004 after the death of Arafat. He won the presidency on 9 January 2005 with 62% of the vote. Former prime minister Ahmed Qureia formed his government on 24 February 2005 to wide international praise because, for the first time, most ministries were headed by experts in their field as opposed to political appointees.

The presidential mandate of Mahmoud Abbas expired in 2009 and he is no longer recognised by Hamas, among others, as the legitimate Palestinian leader. According to Palestinian documents
Palestine Papers
The Palestine Papers, representing publication of information hidden from public records and containing a cache of nearly 1,700 files, are the largest news leak in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They were released in January 2011 by Al-Jazeera...

 leaked to the Al Jazeera news organization, the United States has threatened to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority should there be a change in the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank. In February 2011, the Palestinian Authority announced that parliamentary and presidential elections would be held by September 2011.

On 27 April 2011, Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad
Azzam al-Ahmad
Azzam al-Ahmad . He also received a BA in Economics from Baghdad University. Head of the General Union of Palestinian Students in Iraq from 1971-4; deputy head of GUPS Executive Committee from 1974–80; Palestine Liberation Organization ambassador to Iraq from 1979-94...

 announced the party's signing of a memorandum of understanding with Hamas' leadership, a major step towards reconciliation effectively paving the way for a unity government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

. The deal was formally announced in Cairo, and was co-ordinated under the mediation of Egypt's new intelligence director Murad Muwafi
Murad Muwafi
Major-General Murad Muwafi is the current Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate . He was the former governor of Northern Sinai district, and a former Director of the Military Intelligence Service...

. The deal came amidst an international campaign for statehood
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 advanced by the Abbas administration, which is expected to culminate in a request for admission into the General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 as a member state in September. As part of the deal, the two factions agreed to hold elections in both territories within 12 months of the creation of a transitional government. In response to the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

 warned that the Authority must choose whether it wants "peace with Israel or peace with Hamas".

Political parties and elections



From the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993 until the death of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 in late 2004, only one election had taken place. All other elections were deferred for various reasons.

A single election
Palestinian legislative and presidential election, 1996
On January 20, 1996, elections took place in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem for President of the Palestinian National Authority , and for members of the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislative arm of the PNA....

 for president and the legislature took place in 1996. The next presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for 2001, but were delayed following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Al-Aqsa Intifada
The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

. Following Arafat's death, elections for the President
Palestinian presidential election, 2005
The 2005 Palestinian presidential election — the first to be held since 1996 — took place on January 9, 2005 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Voters elected PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the new President of the Palestinian Authority to replace Yasser Arafat, who died on November 11,...

 of the Authority were announced for 9 January 2005. The PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 won 62.3% of the vote, while Dr. Mustafa Barghouti
Mustafa Barghouti
Mustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian democracy activist. He was a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, finishing second to Mahmoud Abbas, with 19% of the vote.Barghouti was born in Jerusalem...

, a physician and independent candidate, won 19.8%.
On 10 May 2004, the Palestinian Cabinet announced that municipal elections would take place for the first time. Elections were announced for August 2004 in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, followed by certain municipalities in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. In July 2004 these elections were postponed. Issues with voter registration are said to have contributed to the delay. Municipal elections finally took place for council officials in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 and 25 other towns and villages in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 on 23 December 2004. On 27 January 2005, the first round of the municipal elections
Palestinian municipal election, 2005
Municipal elections were held to elect members of local councils in the Palestinian Territories between December 2004 and December 2005. They were the first local elections held in Palestinian areas in almost thirty years....

 took place in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 for officials in 10 local councils. Further rounds in the West Bank took place in May 2005.

Elections for a new Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 (PLC) were scheduled for July 2005 by Acting Palestinian Authority President Rawhi Fattuh
Rawhi Fattuh
Rawhi Fattuh is the former Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and was the interim President of the Palestinian Authority, following the death of Yasser Arafat on November 11, 2004 until January 15, 2005. Under Palestinian law, he was to hold the post for 60 days until an election is...

 in January 2005. These elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 after major changes to the Election Law were enacted by the PLC which required more time for the Palestinian Central Elections Committee to process and prepare. Among these changes were the expansion of the number of parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 seats from 88 to 132, with half of the seats to be competed for in 16 localities, and the other half to be elected in proportion to party votes from a nationwide pool of candidates.
The following organizations, listed in alphabetic order, have taken part in recent popular elections inside the Palestinian Authority:
  • Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist, secular political and military organization. It is also frequently referred to as the Democratic Front, or al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiyah...

     (Al-Jabhah al-Dimuqratiyah Li-Tahrir Filastin)
  • Fatah
    Fatah
    Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

     or Liberation Movement of Palestine (Harakat al-Tahrâr al-Filistini)
  • Hamas
    Hamas
    Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

     or Islamic Resistance Movement (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyah)
  • Palestine Democratic Union
    Palestine Democratic Union
    The Palestinian Democratic Union is a small Palestinian political party active in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Authority .- Background :...

     (al-Ittihad al-Dimuqrati al-Filastini, FiDA)
  • Palestinian National Initiative
    Palestinian National Initiative
    Palestinian National Initiative is a Palestinian political movement or party led by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti.Its formation was formally announced on June 17, 2002 in Ramallah on the West Bank, part of the Palestinian Territories, by Dr. Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Dr...

     (al-Mubadara al-Wataniya al-Filistiniyya)
  • Palestinian People's Party
    Palestinian People's Party
    The Palestinian People's Party , founded in 1982 as the Palestinian Communist Party, is a socialist political party in the Palestinian territories and among the Palestinian diaspora....

     (Hizb al-Sha'b al-Filastini)
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

     (Al-Jabhah al-sha'abiyah Li-Tahrir Filastin)


October 2006 polls have shown that Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 and Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 have equal strength.

On 14 June 2007, after the Battle of Gaza (2007)
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

, Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 has dismissed the Hamas led government, leaving the government under his control for 30 days, after which the temporary government has to be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Human rights


In theory the Palestinian Authority has guaranteed freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests...

 to the Palestinian population. Nevertheless, the right to demonstrate for opponents of the PA regime or of PA policy has become increasingly subject to police control and restriction and is a source of concern for human rights groups.

The Fatah–Hamas conflict
Fatah–Hamas conflict
The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...

 has further limited the freedom of the press in the PNA territories and the distribution of opposing voices in Hamas-controlled Gaza and the West Bank where Fatah still has more influence. In July 2010, with the easing of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israel allowed the distribution of the pro-Fatah newspapers al-Quds
Al-Quds (newspaper)
Al-Quds is a Palestinian Arabic language daily newspaper, based in Jerusalem. It is published in broadsheet format. It is the largest circulation daily newspaper in the Palestinian territories. It was founded in 1951 by Mahmoud Abu-Zalaf, who served as its editor-in-chief until his death in 2005...

, al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida
Al-Hayat al-Jadida
Al-Hayat al-Jadida , is an official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority.- External links :*...

 to Gaza, but Hamas prevented Gazan distributors from retrieving the shipment. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is an independent Palestinian human rights organization based in Gaza City, founded and directed by Raji Sourani...

 (PCHR) condemned the Hamas restrictions of distribution of the West Bank newspapers in Gaza, and also condemned the Fatah-led government in the West Bank for restricting publication and distribution of the Gazan newspapers al-Resala and Falastin
Filastin (newspaper)
Filastin was a twice-weekly newspaper published from 1911-1948 in Palestine. Published from Jaffa, the principal publishers were Isa al-Isa and his cousin Yusef al-Isa. Both al-Isas were Greek Orthodox, opponents of British administration, and supporters of pan-Arab unity...

.

Women have full suffrage in the PA. In the 2006 elections, women made up 47 per cent of registered voters. Prior to the elections, the election law was amended to introduce a quota for women on the national party lists, resulting in 22 per cent of candidates on the national lists being women. The quota's effectiveness was illustrated in comparison with the district elections, where there was no quota, and only 15 of the 414 candidates were women.

Hamas has begun enforcing some Islamic standards of dress for women in the PA; women must don headscarves in order to enter government ministry buildings. In July 2010, Hamas banned the smoking of hookah
Hookah
A hookah A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) A hookah(Gujarati હૂકાહ) (Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari, (Nastaleeq) huqqah) also known as a waterpipe or narghile, is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) instrument for smoking in which the smoke is cooled by water. The tobacco smoked is referred to...

 by women in public. They claimed that it was to reduce the increasing amount of divorces.

In June 2011, the Independent Commission for Human Rights published a report whose findings included that the Palestinians in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 were subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, as well as by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i authorities, with the security forces belonging to the PA and Hamas being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.

Violence against civilians


The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group is a diverse human rights group founded in December 1996 by a group of prominent Palestinians, including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council ....

 reports that through "everyday disagreements and clashes between the various political factions, families and cities that a complete picture of Palestinian society is painted. These divisions have during the course of the al Aqsa Intifada also led to an increasingly violent ‘Intrafada’. In the 10 year period from 1993 to 2003, 16% of Palestinian civilian deaths were caused by Palestinian groups or individuals."

Erika Waak reports in The Humanist "Of the total number of Palestinian civilians killed during this period by both Israeli and Palestinian security forces, 16 percent were the victims of Palestinian security forces." Accusations of collaboration with Israel are used to target and kill individual Palestinians:
"Those who are convicted have either been caught helping Israelis, spoken out against Arafat, or are involved in rival criminal gangs, and these individuals are hanged after summary trials. Arafat creates an environment where the violence continues while silencing would-be critics, and although he could make the violence impossible, he doesn't stop it."

Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World 2001-2002, reports "Civil liberties declined due to: shooting deaths of Palestinian civilians by Palestinian security personnel; the summary trial and executions of alleged collaborators by the Palestinian Authority (PA); extrajudicial killings of suspected collaborators by militias; and the apparent official encouragement of Palestinian youth to confront Israeli soldiers, thus placing them directly in harm's way."

Palestinian security forces have, as of March 2005, not made any arrests for the October 2003 killing of three American members of a diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Moussa Arafat
Moussa Arafat
"Major General" Moussa Arafat al-Qudwa was a cousin of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.In July 2004, Arafat was appointed head of the Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip...

, head of the Palestinian Military Intelligence and a cousin of then Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 has stated that, regarding the United States pressure to arrest the killers; "They know that we are in a very critical position and that clashing with any Palestinian party under the presence of the occupation is an issue that will present many problems for us". Since the October 2003 attack, United States diplomats have been banned from entering the Gaza Strip.

Violence against officials (2001–2004)


On April 22, 2001 Jaweed Al-Ghussein
Jaweed al-Ghussein
Jaweed al-Ghussein was a Palestinian educationist and philanthropist.- Early years :Born in Gaza in 1930, into one of the most prominent Palestinian families. A refugee in 1948 he went to Cairo Egypt with his family were he attended the American University of Cairo .Graduating in Economics he was...

  Former Chairman of the Palestine National was abducted from Abu Dhabi , UAE flown to Arish Egypt, driven across the border to Gaza where he was held hostage by the Palestinian Authority. The Minister of Justice Freh Abu Mediane protested and resigned over the illegality. Haider Abdel Shafi Chief Delegate in the Madrid Peace Process and leading Palestinian protested at his incaceration and demanded his immediate release The PCCR (Palestinian Commission on Citizens Rights) took the case up. The Attorney General Sorani declared there was no legality. The Red Cross was denied access to him. Amnesty asked for his release. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined he was being held 'manifestly with no legal justification' and appointed a UN Rapporteur on Special torture.
On 15 October 2003, three members of a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 diplomatic convoy were killed and additional members of the convoy wounded three kilometers south of the Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip by a terrorist bomb. The perpetrators remain at large.

In February 2004 Ghassan Shaqawa (the mayor of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

) filed his resignation from office in protest of the Palestinian Authority's lack of action against the armed militias rampaging the city and the multiple attempts by some Palestinians to assassinate him. Gaza's police Chief, General Saib al-Ajez would later say: 'This internal conflict between police and militants cannot happen. It is forbidden. We are a single nation and many people know each other and it is not easy to kill someone who is bearing a weapon to defend his nation."

In 2004, a number of attacks on journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were blamed on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

, most clearly the attack on the Arab television station Al-Arabiya's West Bank offices by masked men self-identifying as members of the Brigades. Palestinian journalists in Gaza called a general strike on 9 February to protest this rising violence against journalists.

Karen Abu Zayd, deputy commissioner general for the UN Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip stated on 29 February 2004: "What has begun to be more visible is the beginning of the breakdown of law and order, all the groups have their own militias, and they are very organized. It's factions trying to exercise their powers."

Ghazi al-Jabali
Ghazi al-Jabali
Ghazi al-Jabali was the Gaza Strip Chief of the Preventive Security Service, appointed by the Palestinian Authority. Al-Jabali, who held the rank of Major-General at the close of his tenure in the Palestinian security forces, had been a police commander and chief of the Gaza police since the early...

, the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 Chief of Police, since 1994 has been the target of repeated attacks by Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

s. In March 2004, his offices were targeted by gunfire. In April 2004, a bomb was detonated destroying the front of his house. In 17 July 2004, he was kidnapped at the at gunpoint following an ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

 of his convoy and wound
Wound
A wound is a type of injury in which skin is torn, cut or punctured , or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion . In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.-Open:...

ing of two bodyguards. He was released several hours later. Less than six hours later, Colonel Khaled Abu Aloula, director of military coordination in the southern part of Gaza was abducted.

On 17 July eve, Fatah movement members kidnapped 5 French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 citizens (3 men and 2 women) and held hostage in Red Crescent Society building in Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis - often spelt Khan Younis or Khan Yunnis - is a city and adjacent refugee camp in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the city, its refugee camp, and its immediate surroundings had a total population of 180,000 in 2006...

:
Palestinian security officials said that the kidnapping was carried out by the Abu al-Rish Brigades, accused of being linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

's Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 faction.


On 18 July, Arafat replaced Ghazi al-Jabali
Ghazi al-Jabali
Ghazi al-Jabali was the Gaza Strip Chief of the Preventive Security Service, appointed by the Palestinian Authority. Al-Jabali, who held the rank of Major-General at the close of his tenure in the Palestinian security forces, had been a police commander and chief of the Gaza police since the early...

, with his nephew Moussa Arafat
Moussa Arafat
"Major General" Moussa Arafat al-Qudwa was a cousin of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.In July 2004, Arafat was appointed head of the Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip...

, sparking violent riots in Rafah
Rafah
Rafah , also known as Rafiah, is a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip. Located south of Gaza, Rafah's population of 71,003 is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan form separate localities. Rafah is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate...

 and Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis
Khan Yunis - often spelt Khan Younis or Khan Yunnis - is a city and adjacent refugee camp in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the city, its refugee camp, and its immediate surroundings had a total population of 180,000 in 2006...

 in which members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

 burned PA offices and opened fire on Palestinian policemen. During the riots at least one Palestinian was killed and dozen more seriously wounded.

On 20 July 2004 David Satterfield, the second-in-charge at the United States Department of State Near East desk stated in hearing before the Senate that the Palestinian Authority has failed to arrest the Palestinian terrorists who murdered three members of an American diplomatic convoy traveling in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 on 15 October 2003. Satterfield states:
There has been no satisfactory resolution of this case. We can only conclude that there has been a political decision taken by the chairman (Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

) to block further progress in this investigation.


On 21 July, Nabil Amar, former Minister of Information and a cabinet member and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, was shot by masked gunmen, after an interview to a TV channel in which he criticized Yasser Arafat and called for reforms in the PA.

Regarding the descent into chaos Cabinet minister Qadura Fares
Qadura Fares
Qadura Fares was a Palestinian Authority minister without portfolio under Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei from 2003 to 2005, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for Fatah from 1996 to 2006. He is a close friend, aide and adviser to senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti...

 stated on 21 July 2004:
Every one of us is responsible. Arafat is the most responsible for the failure. President Arafat failed and the Palestinian government failed, the Palestinian political factions failed.


On 22 July 2004, The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 elevated its threat warning level for the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 to "Phase Four" (one less than the maximum "Phase Five") and plans to evacuate non-essential foreign staff from the Gaza Strip.

The firing of Qassam rocket
Qassam rocket
The Qassam rocket is a simple steel artillery rocket developed and deployed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. Three models have been produced and used between 2001 and 2011....

s from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 into Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is strongly opposed by those living closest to the firing location due to frequent Israeli military responses to Qassam rocket launches. On 23 July 2004, an Arab boy was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

 after he and his family physically opposed their attempt to set up a Qassam rocket launcher outside the family's house. Five other individuals were wounded in the incident.

On 25 July 2004, 20 members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

 seized the governor's office in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 town of Khan Yunis. Among their demands are that Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

's cousin, Moussa Arafat be dismissed from his post as chief of general security in Gaza. In a separate attack, unidentified persons stormed a police station and burned the structure causing extensive damage.

On 31 July, Palestinian kidnappers in Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

 seized 3 foreign nationals, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 citizen. They were later released. Also, a PA security forces HQ building was burnt down in Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

 by the al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. A leader of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said they torched the building because new mayor Qadorrah Moussa, appointed by Arafat, had refused to pay salaries to Al Aqsa members or to cooperate with the group.

On 8 August 2004 the Justice Minister Nahed Arreyes resigned stating that he has been stripped of much of his authority over the legal system. The year before, Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 created a rival agency to the Justice Ministry and was accused of continuing to control the judiciary and in particular the state prosecutors.

On 10 August 2004, a report by an investigation committee Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

 for the reasons for the anarchy and chaos in the PA was published by Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

 daily newspaper. The report puts the main blame on Yasser Arafat and the PA's security forces, which "have failed to make a clear political decision to end it".
The report states,
"The main reason for the failure of the Palestinian security forces and their lack of action in restoring law and order" ...
"is the total lack of a clear political decision and no definition of their roles, either for the long term or the short."

The report also calls to stop shooting Qassam rocket
Qassam rocket
The Qassam rocket is a simple steel artillery rocket developed and deployed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. Three models have been produced and used between 2001 and 2011....

s and mortar shells on Israeli settlements because of it hurts "Palestinian interests".
Hakham Balawi said:
"... It is prohibited to launch rockets and to fire weapons from houses, and that is a supreme Palestinian interest that should not be violated because the result is barbaric retaliation by the occupying army and the citizenry cannot accept such shooting. Those who do it are a certain group that does not represent the people and nation, doing it without thinking about the general interest and public opinion in the world and in Israel. There is no vision or purpose to the missiles; the Palestinian interest is more important"


Despite the criticism against Yasser Arafat, the troubles continued. On 24 August, the Lieutenant Commander of the Palestinian General Intelligence in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, Tareq Abu-Rajab, was shot by group of armed men. He was seriously injured.

On 31 August, the Jenin Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, threaten to kill Minister Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath is a senior Palestinian official who has held the following titles:*Palestinian chief negotiator*Palestinian cabinet minister*Palestinian International Co-operation Minister*Planning Minister for the Palestinian National Authority...

 for participating in a conference in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, declaring "He will be sentenced to death if he enters. The decision cannot be rescinded, we call upon his bodyguards to abandon his convoy in order to save their lives."

On 8 September, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, threatens to resign, again. Three weeks have elapsed since he retracted is resignation, originally tendered six weeks ago.

On 12 October, Moussa Arafat
Moussa Arafat
"Major General" Moussa Arafat al-Qudwa was a cousin of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.In July 2004, Arafat was appointed head of the Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip...

, cousin of Yasser Arafat and a top security official in the Gaza Strip, survived a car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 assassination attempt. Recently the Popular Resistance Committees threatened Moussa Arafat with retaliation for an alleged attempt to assassinate its leader, Mohammed Nashabat.

On 14 October, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei stated that the Palestinian Authority is unable to stop the spreading anarchy. While routinely blaming Israel for the PA's problems, he pointed out that the many PA security forces are hobbled by corruption and factional feuding. Due to the lack of governmentals reforms demanded by international peace mediators, Palestinian legislators demanded Qurei present a report on the matter by 20 October, at which point they will decide upon holding a no-confidence vote.

On 19 October, a group of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

 members, led by Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Muhammad 'Abdelrahman Zubeidi is a former Palestinian militant leader, who recently ended his years on Israel's most-wanted list by handing over his guns to the Palestinian National Authority and accepting Israeli amnesty. He had been the Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and...

, seized buildings belonging to the Palestinan Finance ministry and Palestinian parliament in Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

.

According to Mosab Hassan Yousef
Mosab Hassan Yousef
Mosab Hassan Yousef is a Palestinian and son of a Hamas founder and leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef. From 1997 to 2007, he worked undercover for Israel's internal security service Shin Bet, which considered him its most valuable source within the Hamas leadership....

, the CIA has provided sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment to the Palestinian Authority that has been used against suspected Palestinian militants. However, the equipment has also been used against Shin Bet informants.

Palestinian measures to keep law and order


In 2006, after the Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 victory, the Palestinian interior minister formed an Executive Force for the police. However, the PA president objected and after clashes between Hamas and Fatah, a redeployment of the force was made and efforts started in order to integrate it with the police force.

In 2011, Amira Hass
Amira Hass
Amira Hass is a prominent left-wing Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. She is particularly recognized for her reporting on Palestinian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, where she has also lived for a number of years.-Life:The daughter of...

 reported that in sections of Area B of the West Bank, especially around the towns of Abu Dis and Sawahera, a security paradox was evolving: while the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 stipulate that the Israeli Army have authority to police Area B, they weren't; and though the Palestinian security forces were prepared to deal with criminal activity in this Area, they had to wait for Israeli permission to enter, and were thus ineffective. Hass also reported that as a result of this paradox, Abu Dis
Abu Dis
Abu Dis is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate, bordering Jerusalem. Abu Dis is due east of the Jerusalem municipal border. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of approximately 12,100 in mid-year 2006.-Ottoman era:Abu Dis was one of the...

 and surrounding areas were becoming a haven for weapons smugglers, drug dealers, and other criminals.

Administrative divisions


After the signing of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, the West bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 were divided into areas (A, B, and C
Administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip until a final status accord would be established...

) and governorates.
Area A refers to the area under PNA security and civilian control.
Area B refers to the area under Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 civilian and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i security control.
Area C refers to the area under full Israeli control such as settlements.

Since the Battle of Gaza (2007)
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

 most of the Gaza Strip is in control of the Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 with the Palestinian Authority stating it is officially no longer in control of the Gaza Strip.

The PNA divides the Palestinian territories into 16 governorates
  • Jenin Governorate
    Jenin Governorate
    The Jenin Governorate is one of a number of Governorates of the West Bank and Gaza Strip within the Palestinian Territories, it covers the northern extremity of the West Bank including the area around the city of Jenin....

  • Tubas Governorate
    Tubas Governorate
    The Tubas Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the northeastern West Bank. It district capital or muhfaza is the city of Tubas. In 2007, the population was 50,267.-Village councils:*Bardala*Ein al-Beida...

  • Nablus Governorate
    Nablus Governorate
    The Nablus Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authoritylocated in the Central Highlands of the West Bank, 53km north of Jerusalem. It covers the area around the city of Nablus which serves as the muhfaza of the governorate...

  • Tulkarm Governorate
    Tulkarm Governorate
    The Tulkarm Governorate is an administrative district and one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority located in the northwestern West Bank. The governorate's land area is 268 square kilometers. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the governorate had a...

  • Salfit Governorate
    Salfit Governorate
    The Salfit Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority. It is located in the northwestern West Bank, bordered by the governorates of Ramallah and al-Bireh to the south, Nablus to the east and Qalqilya in the north as well as, Israel to the west. Its district capital...

  • Qalqilya Governorate
    Qalqilya Governorate
    The Qalqilya Governorate is an administrative area of the Palestinian National Authority in the northwestern West Bank. Its capital or muhfaza is the city of Qalqilya that borders the Green Line.-Towns and villages:* Azzun 'Atma* Baqah...

  • Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate
    Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate
    The Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It covers a large part of the central West Bank, on the northern border of the Jerusalem Governorate. Its district capital or muhfaza is the city of al-Bireh.According to the Palestinian Central...

  • Jericho Governorate
    Jericho Governorate
    The Jericho Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority within the Palestinian territories. It is located along the eastern areas of the West Bank, along the northern Dead Sea and southern Jordan River valley bordering Jordan...

  • Jerusalem Governorate
    Jerusalem Governorate
    The Jerusalem Governorate is one of 16 Palestinian governorates situated in the central portion of the West Bank. Its claimed district capital is East Jerusalem, which is, however, under Israeli occupation and regarded by Israel as being part of its territory. The total land area of the...

  • Bethlehem Governorate
    Bethlehem Governorate
    The Bethlehem Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the West Bank and Gaza Strip within the Palestinian Territories. It covers an area of the West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Its principal city and district capital is Bethlehem...

  • Hebron Governorate
    Hebron Governorate
    The Hebron Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the southern West Bank. It extends south to, and includes most of, the Dead Sea....

  • North Gaza Governorate
    North Gaza Governorate
    The North Gaza Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority in the Gaza Strip which is administered by the Palestinian National Authority aside from its border with Israel, airspace and maritime territory...

  • Gaza Governorate
    Gaza Governorate
    The Gaza Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority located in the north central Gaza Strip which is administered by the Palestinian National Authority aside from its border with Israel, airspace and maritime territory. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau...

  • Deir al-Balah Governorate
    Deir al-Balah Governorate
    The Deir el-Balah Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority in the central Gaza Strip which is administered by the Palestinian National Authority aside from its border with Israel, airspace and maritime territory. Its total land area consists of 56 sq. kilometers...

  • Khan Yunis Governorate
    Khan Yunis Governorate
    The Khan Yunis Governorate is one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority, located in the southern Gaza Strip. Its district capital is Khan Yunis. The governorate has a total population of approximately 280,000...

  • Rafah Governorate
    Rafah Governorate
    The Rafah Governorate is a governorate of the Palestinian National Authority in the southernmost portion of the Gaza Strip. Its district capital or muhfaza is the city of Rafah located on the border with Egypt. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the governorate had a...


Foreign relations


Representation of the Palestinian Authority abroad is performed by the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

. In states that recognise the State of Palestine it maintains embassies and in other states it maintains "delegations" or "missions".

Representations of foreign states to the Palestinian Authority are performed by "missions" or "offices" in Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and Gaza. States that recognise the State of Palestine
State of Palestine
Palestine , officially declared as the State of Palestine , is a state that was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988, when the Palestine Liberation Organization's National Council adopted the unilateral Palestinian Declaration of Independence...

 also accredit to the Palestine Liberation Organization (as the government-in-exile of the State of Palestine) non-resident ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

s residing in third countries.

Palestinian Authority passport


In April 1995, the Palestinian Authority, pursuant to the Oslo Accords with the State of Israel, started to issue passports to Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The appearance of the passport and details about its issuance are described in Appendix C of Annex II (Protocol Concerning Civil Affairs) of Gaza-Jericho Agreement signed by Israel and the PLO on 4 May 1994. The Palestinian Authority does not issue the passports on behalf of the proclaimed State of Palestine. The passports bear the inscription: "This passport/travel document is issued pursuant to the Palestinian Self Government Agreement according to Oslo Agreement signed in Washington on 13/9/1993". By September 1995, the passport has been recognised by 29 states, some of them (e.g. the United States) recognise it only as a travel document (see further details below): Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

While the U.S. Government recognises Palestinian Authority passports as travel documents, it does not view them as conferring citizenship, since they are not issued by a government. Consular officials representing the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, when asked by the Resource Information Center of UNHCR in May 2002, would not comment on whether their governments viewed PA passports as conferring any proof of citizenship or residency, but did say that the passports, along with valid visas or other necessary papers, would allow their holders to travel to their countries.

The Palestinian Authority has said that anyone born in Palestine carrying a birth certificate attesting to that can apply for a PA passport. Whether Palestinians born outside Palestine could apply was not clear to the PA Representative questioned by UNHCR representatives in May 2002. The PA representative also said even if those applying met the PA's eligibility criteria, the Israeli government placed additional restrictions on the actual issuance of passports.

In October 2007, a Japanese Justice Ministry official said, "Given that the Palestinian Authority has improved itself to almost a full-fledged state and issues its own passports, we have decided to accept the Palestinian nationality". The decision followed a recommendation by a ruling party panel on nationality that Palestinians should no longer be treated as stateless.

Financing



The majority of aid to the Palestinian Authority comes from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. According to figures released by the PA, only 22 percent of the $530,000,000 received since the beginning of 2010 came from Arab donors. The remaining came from Western donors and organizations. The total amount of foreign aid received directly by the PA was $1.4 billion in 2009 and $1.8 billion in 2008.

Palestinian Authority officials have said the "Arab world" does not "care about the Palestinian." According to Palestinian officials, Arab states have "failed" to honor their previous pledges to provide Palestinians with financial aid. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 said the Palestinians haven't seen "one cent" of the hundreds of millions of dollars the Arab countries promised during the 2010 Arab League summit
2010 Arab League summit
The Arab League 22nd Summit was held in Sirte, in Libya on the 27th of March 2010.Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke at the summit, stressing that Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria....

 in Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. Palestinian leaders stated the Arab world was "continuing to ignore" repeated requests for help.

Following the 2006 legislative elections, won by Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, Israel has ceased transferring the $55 million tax-receipts to the PA; since the PA has no access point (ports, airports, etc.) to receive taxes, it is Israel that is charged with this duty. These funds accounted for a third of the PA's budget, two thirds of its proper budget, and ensure the wages of 160,000 Palestinian civil servants (among them 60,000 security and police officers), on which a third of the Palestinian population is dependent.

The US and the EU responded to Hamas' political victory by stopping direct aid to the PA, while the US imposed a financial blockade on PA's banks, impeding some of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

's funds (e.g. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

) from being transferred to the PA. On 6 and 7 May 2006, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza and the West Bank demanding payment of their wages.

In 2010, the Palestinian Authority has managed to decrease dependence on "foreign aid-from Europe, the US, and Arab countries" by $600 million.

Foreign aid and budget deficit


Due to conditions in the territory it administers
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has received unprecedented financial support from the international community. According to the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, USD 929 million were given by the international community to the PA in 2001, $891 million in 2003 and $1.1 billion in 2005 (representing 53% of the budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

 in 2005). The main objectives are support to the budget, development aid
Development aid
Development aid or development cooperation is aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.It is distinguished...

 and public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

. In 2003, the US funded $224 million, the EU $187 million, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 $124 million, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 $53 million, the World Bank $50 million, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 $43 million, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 $40 million, and the last $170 million by others. According to the World Bank, the budget deficit was about of $800 million in 2005, with nearly half of it financed by donors. "The PA's fiscal situation has become increasingly unsustainable mainly as a result of uncontrolled government consumption, in particular a rapidly increasing public sector wage bill, expanding social transfer schemes and rising net lending," said the World Bank report. Government corruption is widely seen as the cause of much of the PA financial difficulties.

Economic sanctions following January 2006 legislative elections



Following the January 2006 legislative elections
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

, won by Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, the Quartet
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) threatened to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority.
On 2 February 2006, according to the AFP, the PNA accused Israel of "practicing collective punishment after it snubbed US calls to unblock funds owed to the Palestinians." Prime minister Ahmed Qorei "said he was hopeful of finding alternative funding to meet the budget shortfall of around 50 million dollars, needed to pay the wages of public sector workers, and which should have been handed over by Israel on the first of the month." The US Department criticized Israel for refusing to quickly unblock the funds. The funds were later unblocked.
However, the New York Times alleged on 14 February 2006 that a "destabilization plan" of the United States and Israel, aimed against Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, winner of the January 2006 legislative elections, centered "largely on money" and cutting all funds to the PA once Hamas takes power, in order to delegitimize it in the eyes of the Palestinians. According to the news article, "The Palestinian Authority has a monthly cash deficit of some $60 million to $70 million after it receives between $50 million and $55 million a month from Israel in taxes and customs duties collected by Israeli officials at the borders but owed to the Palestinians." Beginning March 2006, "the Palestinian Authority will face a cash deficit of at least $110 million a month, or more than $1 billion a year, which it needs to pay full salaries to its 140,000 employees, who are the breadwinners for at least one-third of the Palestinian population. The employment figure includes some 58,000 members of the security forces, most of which are affiliated with the defeated Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 movement." Since 25 January elections, "the Palestinian stock market has already fallen about 20 percent", while the "Authority has exhausted its borrowing capacity with local banks."

Use of European Union assistance


In February 2004, it was reported that the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) anti-fraud office (OLAF
OLAF
The European Anti-fraud Office is charged by the European Union with protecting the financial interests of the European Union: Its tasks are to fight fraud affecting the EU budget, as well as corruption and any other irregular activity, including misconduct, within the European Institutions, in an...

) was studying documents suggesting that Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the Palestinian Authority had diverted tens of millions of dollars in EU funds to organizations involved in terrorist attacks, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. However, in August 2004, a provisional assessment stated that "To date, there is no evidence that funds from the non-targeted EU Direct Budget Assistance to the Palestinian Authority have been used to finance illegal activities, including terrorism."

A separate EU "Working Group" also issued a report in April 2004, adopted by a 7-6 vote, which covers the period from the end of 2000 to the end of 2002, stating that EU aid has not been siphoned off to Palestinian militants carrying out attacks on Israelis: "There is no conclusive evidence, to date, that the EU non-targeted direct budgetary support was used to finance illegal activities, including the financing of terrorism".

Furthermore, the EU has changed the way it funded the Palestinians and now uses targeted aid for specific purposes. From April 2003, money is only handed over if various conditions are met, such as the presentation of invoices for bills the Palestinians need to pay. The EU remains the biggest donor to the Palestinian Authority.

US foreign aid packages


The US House for Foreign Operations
United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
The House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs is a standing subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee. Prior to 2008, it was known as the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs....

 announced a foreign assistance package to the Palestinian Authority that included provisions that would bar the government from receiving aid if it seeks statehood at the UN or includes Hamas in a unity government. The bill would provide $513 million for the Palestinian Authority.

Payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons


On 22 July 2004, Salam Fayyad, PA Minister of Finance, in an article in the Palestinian weekly, The Jerusalem Times, detailed the following payments to Palestinians imprisoned by the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i authorities:
  1. Prisoner allowances increased between June 2002 and June 2004 to $9.6M USD monthly, an increase of 246 percent compared with January 1995-June 2002.
  2. Between June 2002 and June 2004, 77M NIS were delivered to Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, compared to 121M NIS between January 1995 and June 2002, which is an increase of 16M NIS yearly. The increase of annual spending between the two periods registers 450 percent, which is much higher than the percentage increase of the number of prisoners.
  3. Between 2002 and 2004, the PA paid 22M NIS to cover other expenses — lawyers’ fees, fines, and allocations for released prisoners. This includes lawyers’ fees paid directly by the PA and fees paid through the Prisoners Club.

In February 2011, The Jerusalem Post revealed that the PA was paying monthly salaries to members of Hamas who are in Israeli prisons.

James G. Lindsay


James G. Lindsay a former UNRWA general-counsel and fellow researcher for Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. It was established by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 1985...

 published a report regarding the use of international aid in the Palestinian Authority. Lindsay argued that internationally funded construction projects in the West Bank should try and minimize foreign labor and maximize the participation of Palestinian workers and management to ensure economic expansion through salaries, job training, and improved infrastructure. Lindsay stated the some financial control should stay in international hands to avoid "nepotism or corruption".

Lindsay has also argued that in any peace settlement acceptable by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 "there will be few, if any, Palestinian refugees returning to Israel proper".
Linday suggested that internationally funded construction projects should try and benefit West Bank refugees that are willing to give up their longstanding demand for a "right of return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

". Lindsay also claimed that projects that will improve the living conditions of West Bank refugees could also be seen as part of the reparations or damages to be paid to refugees in any likely Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Lindsay criticized the Palestinian Authority treatment of these refugees:
PA projects are not likely to address refugee needs, however, since the PA has traditionally deferred to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regarding infrastructure in refugee camps.

See also



  • Palestinian Legislative Council
    Palestinian Legislative Council
    The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

  • Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

  • Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority
  • List of cities in Palestinian National Authority areas
  • Palestinian Liberation Army
    Palestinian Liberation Army
    The Palestine Liberation Army was ostensibly set up as the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the 1964 Arab League summit , with the mission of fighting Israel...

  • PLO and Hamas
  • United States Security Assistance to the Palestinian Authority
    United States security assistance to the Palestinian Authority
    United States security assistance to the Palestinian Authority has been provided since the Palestinian Authority was established by the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s. The security assistance was given on an ad hoc basis and often covert at the outset. Since 2005 the U.S...

  • Human rights in the Palestinian National Authority
    Human rights in the Palestinian National Authority
    Human rights in the Palestinian National Authority refers to the human rights record of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Since Israel's implementation of its unilateral disengagement plan in 2005 and the evacuation of all Jewish settlements from Gaza Strip, the Palestinian...


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