Palestinian Authority

POLITICS
Who is the head of state in your country?  How long has he/she been in power
Mahmoud Abbas is President of the Palestinian National Authority and is in the Fatah Party.  He took office in January of 2005 and is still in power. (1)  Aziz Duwaik is the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and is considered by some Palestinians to be the acting President of the PNA because Abbas’ elected term ended in January of 2009. (2)

What type of government does your country have?
The politics of the PNA are complicated.  It was created in 1994 to be a 5 year interim body that would rule until final decisions about Israel/Palestine could be reached.  16 years later, there still hasn’t been a decision. (3)

The government of the PNA can be described at semi-presidential, Islamic socialist, and parliamentary democracy (1)

“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 communities, were to remain under exclusive Israeli control ("Area C"). East Jerusalem was excluded from the Accords.” (3)

Which countries in the Middle East are your major allies?
Iran
Syria
Iraq
Saudi Arabia
Qatar
Lebanon
Kuwait

Which countries world-wide are your major allies?
European Union
US

What major international organizations does your country belong to?
US Agency for International Development
UN Development Programme
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UN Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People
Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec
Near East Foundation
European Commision Relations
American Friends Service Committee
UN Industrial Development Organization (3)

What are three major political issues that your country is dealing with at this time?
1. Conflict between Israel and PA in determining who gets what land.
2. Should Hamas be recognized as a governing body, or as a terrorist group?
3.  Is Fatah rightfully in power over PNA or is Hamas?  There is a current disagreement over who is currently the president of the PNA.

If your country has political parties, what are they and what do they stand for?
Hamas - believes in Islamic fundamentalism, purpose = “to liberate Palestine from Israeli oppression and to establish an Islamic state "from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.", seen by many as a terrorist organization (4)
Fatah - Palestinian nationalism, left-wing nationalism, secularism, socialism (5)

Who can vote in your country?
Both men and women can vote.  Palestinians in the diaspora and inside Israel cannot vote. (6)

What is the size of your military?
I was unable to find an exact size, however, the Palestinian Liberation Army and the Palestinian National Guard are the military forces in Palestine.  Originally designed to fight Israel, many soldiers now are a part of civilian security. (7)

Has your country fought in any wars in the last 10 years?
The Oslo War or Intifada II has been happening since October of 2000.  It is between Israel and Palestine. (8)

When did your country become independent?
The Palestinian National Authority was formed in 1994.


When did it last revise its constitution?
2003 (9)

Which countries does it view as a threat or does it have conflicts with?
Israel

What is the relationship between religion and the government/public sector in your country?
Palestinians have the right to practice the religion of their choice, however, due to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, this is not always the literal case.  Jews are often not accepted in Palestinian areas, etc.

In reality, does your country have freedom of the press, assembly and speech?
No.

1.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Palestinian_National_Authority
2.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aziz_Duwaik
3.  http://www.araboo.com/dir/palestine-international-organizations
4.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas
5.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_National_Authority#Recognition_of_the_State_of_Palestine
7.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Liberation_Army
8.  http://blog.standforisrael.org/issues/peace-keeping/intifada-ii-the-oslo-war
9. http://www.mideastweb.org/palconstitution.htm
10.  http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000592

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