The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was established in 1994 as an outcome of the Oslo peace process as the elected government. The PNA was established as a five year interim body to see over Palestinian affairs in the Occupied Territories. The PNA was created by and has historically been associated with, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), with whom Israel negotiated the Oslo Accords. However the PNA should not be confused with the PLO who continues to enjoy international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, representing them at the United Nations and abroad. The PLO was established in 1964.

Learn more about The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and The Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Read Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s “National Development Plan 2011-2013. Establishing the State, Building our Future” and learn more about the basic institutional building blocks of a democratic state of Palestine with seperation of powers, checks and balances.

Political System

Palestine is governed by a Parliamentary Democracy referred to as the Legislative Council (PLC). The current President is Mahmoud Abbas and the Head of Government is Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. The President is elected every four years and he appoints the Prime Minister.

Visit the official site of President Mahmoud Abbas and the offical site of the Palestinian Presidency.

According to the Palestinian Basic Law which was signed by Yasser Arafat in 2002, the current structure of the PNA is based on three separate branches of power: executive, legislative, and judiciary.

The Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) was established in 1994 in Gaza in order to follow up on the implementation of the Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the PLO. The NAD has two offices; one in Gaza which is composed of units responsible for Israeli affairs, Israel’s violations of signed agreements, Israel’s colonization (i.e. its illegal settlement policies) and Palestinian refugees; the other office is located in Ramallah where it is responsible for following up on the Interim Agreements and preparing Palestinian positions for the Permanent Status talks with Israel.

Visit the Negotiations Affairs Department and the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Palestinian Legislative Council

The PLC is an elected body of 132 representatives, and must approve all government cabinet positions proposed by the Prime Minister. The Judiciary Branch has yet to be properly formalized. The President of the PNA 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. The Prime Minister is 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.

Political Parties

The following political parties listed in alphabetic order, have taken part in recent elections for the PNA in the occupied Palestinian territories:

  • Al-Mustaqbal or The Future
  • Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
  • Fatah or Palestinian Liberation Movement
  • Hamas or Islamic Resistance Movement
  • National Coalition for Justice and Democracy
  • Palestinian Democratic Union
  • Palestine Forum
  • Palestine Liberation Front
  • Palestinian Arab Front
  • Palestinian Justice
  • Almubadara or Palestinian National Initiative
  • Palestinian People’s Party
  • Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
  • Third Way