Hamas was victorious and Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as Prime Minister on 16 February and sworn in on 29 March However, when a Hamas-led Palestinian government was formed, the Quartet United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union conditioned future foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority PA on the future government's commitment to non-violence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas rejected these demands,  which resulted in the Quartet suspension of its foreign assistance program and Israel imposed economic sanctions.
In December , Ismail Haniyeh , Prime Minister of the PA, declared that the PA will never recognize Israel: "We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem. In an attempt to resolve the financial and diplomatic impasse, the Hamas-led government together with Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed to form a unity government.
As a result, Haniyeh resigned on 15 February as part of the agreement. The unity government was finally formed on 18 March under Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and consisted of members from Hamas, Fatah and other parties and independents. Though the new government's authority is claimed to extend to all Palestinian territories, in effect it became limited to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas of the West Bank , as Hamas hasn't recognized the move. The Fayyad government has won widespread international support. But on the political front, the PA is trying to generate a popular intifada.
Since the Hamas-Fatah split in , the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority based in areas of the West Bank had stabilized, though no significant economic growth had been achieved. Until , there had also been no progress in promotion of PNA status in the UN, as well in negotiations with Israel.
Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority stayed out of the Gaza War in —, which followed the six-month truce , between Hamas and Israel which ended on 19 December The reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas reached intermediate results by the two governments, most notably the agreement in Cairo on 27 April , but with no final solution. Though the two agreed to form a unity government,  and to hold elections in both territories within 12 months of the establishment of such a government,   it had not been implemented.
The deal also promised the entry of Hamas into the Palestine Liberation Organization and holding of elections to its Palestine National Council decision-making body, which was not implemented as well. The deal was further ratified in the Hamas—Fatah Doha agreement , which was made with the background of Hamas relocation from Damascus, due to the simmering Syrian civil war. Since late August , Palestinian National Authority has been swept with social protests aiming against the cost of living. Some anti-government protests turned violent.
In July , it was reported that Hamas Government in Gaza was considering to declare the independence of the Gaza Strip with the help of Egypt. On 30 November , Hamas declared that the unity government had ended with the expiration of the six-month term. On 7—8 February , Fatah and Hamas held talks in Doha , Qatar in an attempt to implement the agreements.
Hamas official told Al-Monitor on 8 March, that the talks did not succeed and that discussions continued between the two movements. He also said that the foreign pressures on the Palestinian Authority to not implement the reconciliation terms is the main obstacle in the talks. In a Feb. Should Hamas continue down this path, we have to go to the polls immediately and let the people choose who they want to rule.
The UN has permitted the PLO to title its representative office to the UN as "The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations",  and Palestine has started to re-title its name accordingly on postal stamps, official documents and passports,   whilst it has instructed its diplomats to officially represent 'The State of Palestine', as opposed to the 'Palestine National Authority'.
East Jerusalem was unilaterally annexed by Israel in , prior to the formation of the PA. Since Gaza has been governed by the Hamas Government in Gaza. The politics of the Palestinian Authority take place within the framework of a semi-presidential multi-party republic, with the Palestinian Legislative Council PLC , an executive President , and a Prime Minister leading a Cabinet.
According to the Palestinian Basic Law which was signed by Arafat in after a long delay, the current structure of the PA is based on three separate branches of power: executive, legislative, and judiciary. The PLC is an elected body of representatives, which must confirm the Prime Minister upon nomination by the President, and which must approve all government cabinet positions proposed by the Prime Minister. The Judicial Branch has yet to be formalized. The President of the PA 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.
In an amendment to the Basic Law approved in , the president appoints the Prime Minister who is also 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. Parliamentary elections were conducted in January after the passage of an overhauled election law that increased the number of seats from 88 to Arafat's administration was criticized for its lack of democracy, widespread corruption among officials, and the division of power among families and numerous governmental agencies with overlapping functions.
However, this began a push for change in the Palestinian leadership. Former prime minister Ahmed Qureia formed his government on 24 February to wide international praise because, for the first time, most ministries were headed by experts in their field as opposed to political appointees. The presidential mandate of Mahmoud Abbas expired in and he is no longer recognised by Hamas, among others, as the legitimate Palestinian leader. According to Palestinian documents leaked to the Al Jazeera news organization, the United States has threatened to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority should there be a change in the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.
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On 27 April , Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad announced the party's signing of a memorandum of understanding with Hamas' leadership, a major step towards reconciliation effectively paving the way for a unity government. From the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in until the death of Yasser Arafat in late , only one election had taken place. All other elections were deferred for various reasons.
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A single election for president and the legislature took place in The next presidential and legislative elections were scheduled for , but were delayed following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Following Arafat's death, elections for the President of the Authority were announced for 9 January Mustafa Barghouti , a physician and independent candidate, won On 10 May , the Palestinian Cabinet announced that municipal elections would take place for the first time.
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Elections were announced for August in Jericho , followed by certain municipalities in the Gaza Strip. In July these elections were postponed. Issues with voter registration are said to have contributed to the delay. Municipal elections finally took place for council officials in Jericho and 25 other towns and villages in the West Bank on 23 December On 27 January , the first round of the municipal elections took place in the Gaza Strip for officials in 10 local councils.
Further rounds in the West Bank took place in May These elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas after major changes to the Election Law were enacted by the PLC which required more time for the Palestinian Central Elections Committee to process and prepare. Among these changes were the expansion of the number of parliament seats from 88 to , with half of the seats to be competed for in 16 localities, and the other half to be elected in proportion to party votes from a nationwide pool of candidates.
Final results in arabic. The following organizations, listed in alphabetic order, have taken part in recent popular elections inside the Palestinian Authority:. October polls showed that Fatah and Hamas had equal strength. On 14 June , after the Battle of Gaza , Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government, leaving the government under his control for 30 days, after which the temporary government had to be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council.
In theory the Palestinian Authority has guaranteed freedom of assembly to the Palestinian citizens residing in its territory. Nevertheless, the right to demonstrate for opponents of the PA regime or of PA policy has become increasingly subject to police control and restriction and is a source of concern for human rights groups. The Fatah—Hamas conflict has further limited the freedom of the press in the PA territories and the distribution of opposing voices in Hamas-controlled Gaza and the West Bank where Fatah still has more influence.
Women have full suffrage in the PA.
In the elections, women made up 47 percent of registered voters. Prior to the elections, the election law was amended to introduce a quota for women on the national party lists, resulting in 22 per cent of candidates on the national lists being women. The quota's effectiveness was illustrated in comparison with the district elections, where there was no quota, and only 15 of the candidates were women. Selling land or housing to Jews is punishable by death, and some high-profile cases have received high media coverage. Hamas has begun enforcing some Islamic standards of dress for women in the PA; women must don headscarves in order to enter government ministry buildings.
They claimed that it was to reduce the increasing number of divorces. In June , the Independent Commission for Human Rights published a report whose findings included that the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in to an "almost systematic campaign" of human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas , as well as by Israeli authorities, with the security forces belonging to the PA and Hamas being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.
The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group reports that through " everyday disagreements and clashes between the various political factions, families and cities that a complete picture of Palestinian society is painted. Erika Waak reports in The Humanist " Of the total number of Palestinian civilians killed during this period by both Israeli and Palestinian security forces, 16 percent were the victims of Palestinian security forces.
Arafat creates an environment where the violence continues while silencing would-be critics, and although he could make the violence impossible, he doesn't stop it. Freedom House 's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World —, reports " Civil liberties declined due to: shooting deaths of Palestinian civilians by Palestinian security personnel; the summary trial and executions of alleged collaborators by the Palestinian Authority PA ; extrajudicial killings of suspected collaborators by militias; and the apparent official encouragement of Palestinian youth to confront Israeli soldiers, thus placing them directly in harm's way.
Palestinian security forces have, as of March , not made any arrests for the October killing of three American members of a diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip. Moussa Arafat , head of the Palestinian Military Intelligence and a cousin of then Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has stated that, regarding the United States pressure to arrest the killers; "They know that we are in a very critical position and that clashing with any Palestinian party under the presence of the occupation is an issue that will present many problems for us".
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Since the October attack, United States diplomats have been banned from entering the Gaza Strip. Haider Abdel Shafi , Chief Delegate in the Madrid Peace Process and leading Palestinian, protested at his incarceration and demanded his immediate release. The Attorney General Sorani declared there was no legality. The Red Cross was denied access to him. Amnesty International asked for his release.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined he was being held 'manifestly with no legal justification' and appointed a Special Rapporteur on torture. On 15 October , three members of a United States diplomatic convoy were killed and additional members of the convoy wounded three kilometers south of the Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip by a terrorist bomb. The perpetrators remain at large.
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In February , Ghassan Shaqawa , the mayor of Nablus , filed his resignation from office in protest of the Palestinian Authority's lack of action against the armed militias rampaging the city and the multiple attempts by some Palestinians to assassinate him. Gaza's police Chief, General Saib al-Ajez would later say: 'This internal conflict between police and militants cannot happen.
It is forbidden. We are a single nation and many people know each other and it is not easy to kill someone who is bearing a weapon to defend his nation. Karen Abu Zayd, deputy commissioner general for the UN Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip stated on 29 February "What has begun to be more visible is the beginning of the breakdown of law and order, all the groups have their own militias, and they are very organized. It's factions trying to exercise their powers. In March , his offices were targeted by gunfire.
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