PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) appears as a result of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles on interim self-government known as as Oslo I signed on September 13, 1993, between the State of Israel and the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (OLP). Thus, as stated in Article 1 of the Declaration of Principles, one of the objectives of the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is the establishment of a Palestinian Interim Self-Government. The PNA is known as the government of the Palestinians. Territorially, its jurisdiction embraces today (February 1999) the territories of Gaza Strip and West Bank, though within these territories there is a differentiation between zones A, B and C. The existence of these areas involves different degrees of control and assumption of duties and responsibilities by the ANP.
The beginning of the establishment of the PNA, first in the territories of Gaza and Jericho, and later in the West Bank involved implementing a management system that, in the Palestinian case, took shape with local governments. These were installed in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Each governor is appointed by the president of the PNA. Governorates depend on the Ministry of Local Government and act in coordination with the administrative authorities, represented by mayors of municipalities and heads of village councils of each respective districts.
PRESIDENT MAHMUD ABBAS
Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has become the second President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), thanks to his victory in the elections on January 9th, 2005. The successor of Yasser Arafat in the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) achieved 62,3% of the vote, compared to 19.8% achieved by the main opposition candidate, Moustafa Barghouthi.
EX-PRESIDENT YASSER ARAFAT (FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE ANP)
After the Oslo Accords of 1993, he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1994, as well as the Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin for their contributions to world peace, as they laid the foundations for peace in Middle East. Nevertheless, these hopes were dashed after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli extremist and the refusal of successive Israeli governments to implement the steps to achieve the final agreement.
Yasser Arafat was the first democratically elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, by a large majority of votes (80% of the total), a position he held until his assassination in 2004, after 2 years of Israeli siege to his governmental headquarters.
Yasser Arafat, president of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine since 1968, succeeded Ahmed Shuqueiry in this position. He founded the Palestinian National Resistance Movement Al-Fatah in 1959, and he is the emblematic leader of the Palestinian cause. Because of its political leadership the Palestinian cause was placed at Arab and International Levels in its true dimensions, as a national cause and not as a mere problem of war refugees.
In 1974, he addressed the UN General Assembly for the Palestinian cause, and like this, that year became the framework of international recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people.