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Middle East: Palestine Authority

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Political Status: Declaration of Principles establishing a "Palestinian authority" to assume partial governmental responsibility in Gaza and portions of the West Bank signed by Yasir Arafat, chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993; agreement reached on May 4, 1994, between Arafat and Rabin for formal launching of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from certain occupied territories and inauguration of the first Palestinian Authority (PA, or Palestinian National Authority [PNA]) on July 5; extension of limited Palestinian self-rule to additional territory approved in Israeli-Palestinian accord  on September 24, 1995; elected civilian government inaugurated February–May 1996 to govern most of Gaza and portions of the West Bank; mixed presidential–prime ministerial system adopted for Palestinian self-rule areas on March 10, 2003; Israeli settlements  in Gaza dismantled and all Israeli forces withdrawn unilaterally from Gaza in August–September 2005; control of Gaza taken over in June 2007 by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), with the PNA retaining control of Palestinian self-rule territory in the West Bank.




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