Palestinian Sovereignty – Only in Court?
Point of View | 33
The Jerusalem District Court ruled this week that “the PA meets the main requirements that constitute a ‘state’” and that it is “semi-sovereign” in the territory it controls (Association of the Elon Moreh College v. State of Israel et. al., 4/23/06).
This ruling raises the issue of the political implications of the political status of the PA.
What is the Issue?
Status of the PA
The Interim Agreement (9/95) defined the powers and authorities of the PA for the duration of an Interim Period of no longer than 5 years (until 5/99), during which the two sides were to resolve all "Outstanding Issues". The political status of the Palestinian entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was defined as one of these issues.
Though the two sides failed to reach a permanent status agreement by the end of the Interim Period, the PA continued to exist and acquired powers that were not allocated to it in the Interim Agreement. The political status of the PA has never been determined.
Israeli Policy vis-à-vis the PA
Since Hamas' electoral victory (1/06), Israel has been working to block economic assistance to the PA, cut-off ties with its institutions and politically isolate its cabinet.
Israel and the US are heading an international coalition conditioning the renewal of economic assistance to the PA on Hamas’ adherence to three demands: to recognize Israel, to reaffirm existing agreements and to cease violence.