What Are The Political Implications of the Palestinian Web Suffix?
Last week Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Allah announced that the .PS suffix has officially been activated on the websites of the Palestinian Authority (PA). On the World Wide Web, the suffix .PS signifies that the Palestinian entity is a state. Although seemingly inconsequential, this development carries political significance.
What is the Issue?
Israel and the Palestinians have recently inverted their stances regarding the political process:
In the past, Israel resisted the Palestinian demand for a state (even with provisional borders);
Now it is the Palestinians who resist a state with provisional borders, while Israel demands adherence to the Second Phase of the Roadmap, which calls for the establishment of a Palestinian State with provisional borders.
In 1988 (Algiers Declaration) the Palestinians declared the establishment of a Palestinian state despite having no formal presence in any part of Mandatory Palestine. About a 100 countries recognized this declaration.
The framework of the Oslo Process (Palestinian State after a Permanent Status Agreement), on the one hand, and the shared interests of Israel and the PLO, on the other hand, denied the PA power and responsibilities on many salient issues of international affairs – foreign representatives to the PA, appointment of PA ambassadors abroad, PA membership in international organizations or even an international dial code.
Throughout the Oslo Process until 2000, the Palestinians demanded their right to establish a state, even with provisional borders, threatening to declare unilateral independence multiple times (5/99, 9/00, 11/00).
Israel threatened to actively prevent the declaration and realization of Palestinian independence.
Israel & The Palestinians
Activating the Palestinian internet suffix contradicts the spirit of the Interim Agreement as it constitutes a symbol of sovereignty of Palestinian statehood.