Palestinian National Authority (PNA)

Autonomous Palestinian government set up in order to implement the Israeli-Palestinian agreements (Oslo Agreements) (see « Oslo peace process ») for a transitional period which is supposed to last until May 1999. Initially organized within the framework of the Gaza-Jericho Autonomy Agreement (Cairo Agreement or Oslo I), it was then not an elected government and was exclusively composed of members of the PLO.
Today, the Palestinian National Authority has a mixed nature as planned in the Interim Agreement on the West bank and the Gaza Strip (Taba Agreement or Oslo II). It comprises a majority of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elected on 20 January 1996 and a minority of external appointed officials chosen mainly among the members of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). This allows within the PNA an optimal representation of the Palestinians from « within » and from those of the Diaspora.

The President of the PNA was Yasser Arafat until his death on the 11th of November 2004. He had been elected in general elections with 87.1% of the votes.

On March 2003 the Palestinian Legislative Council approved the creation of the post of prime minister. This had been demanded by the US as a condition to unveil the internationally backed road map for peace in the Middle East. President Yasser Arafat had initially resisted international pressure to name a prime minister and share powers. The Palestinian Legislative Council finally approved the deputy PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas and his cabinet by a vote of 51 to 18 with three abstentions on the 29 April 2003.

Following Yasser Arafat’s death in 2004, elections for the President of the Authority were announced for January 9, 2005. The PLO Leader Mahmoud Abbas won by 62.3% of the votes.

On the 26th of February 2006, Hamas, which was opposed to Fatah, won the Palestinian legislative elections. Less than a month later, on the 19 February 2006, Ismail Hanya, who headed the Hamas’ « Change and refom » List, was named Prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority.

The Palestinian National Authority is lead by:

  • President: Mahmoud Abbas
  • Prime Minister : Ismaïl Haniyeh