According to Country Verifier, PNA is the initials of the Palestinian National Authority, the political institution established in 1994 following the peace agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government, with the task of administering the territories gradually evacuated by the Israelis. The agreements provided for an interim mandate for this body, waiting for the peace negotiations to be concluded, but the stalemate in the negotiations, which became insurmountable between 2006 and 2009, froze the situation for almost twenty years. With the agreements, the Palestine has been given a government mandate over the Gaza Strip and some sections of the West Bank, in particular the cities of Jericho, Hebron, Nablus, Rāmallāh, Jenin and Bethlehem, without prejudice to the Israeli right to intervene militarily in the territories administered by the Palestine for security reasons. The non-return to the Palestine of further areas of the West Bank, where the number of new Israeli settlements was growing in the meantime, has mutilated the government action of the Palestine, whose president since 2005 is Abu Māzin.
From an economic point of view, the Palestinian Territories are dependent on Israel, as well as on aid from abroad (more than 2 billion dollars in 2013, about 11% of the national GDP), in particular from Europe and the USA.
The bans imposed by Israel inevitably affect the economic conditions of the Palestinian Territories. According to Unctad, the United Nations body in charge of trade, the Palestine loses more than $ 300 million in potential tax revenue every year due to untaxed imports passing through Israel.
In the Gaza Strip, in particular, after the takeover by Hamas in 2007, Tel Aviv effectively closed the access points to the Palestinian territory, causing serious damage to the economy and the closure of many industrial and commercial activities. All of this has caused the unemployment rate to soar while fueling a parallel and illegal economy that passes through the underground tunnels between Egyptian North Sinai and Rafah. Although Egyptian security forces have destroyed about 80% of the 1,500 tunnels – also used for arms smuggling – the Cairo authorities have not yet been able to stop this clandestine flow to and from Gaza.
At the same time, the West Bank economy is not in better economic shape. The West Bank has suffered from the construction of the wall that separates it from Israel, as a precautionary measure against the proliferation of suicide bombings within Israeli territory. This limits movement between the Territories and Israel and the entry of Palestinians into Israeli territory for work purposes. Before the construction of the wall that separates Israel from the West Bank, many Palestinians had special permits to cross the border on a daily basis while there are currently more restrictions.
From a macroeconomic point of view, the Territories saw a certain growth in the 1990s, which however coincided, in the years of the second Intifada, with a collapse of the GDP.per capita, which only since 2005 has started to grow again, exceeding $ 10,000 in 2012. The Palestinian economy is dominated by services (tourism, especially in some cities like Bethlehem, is also an important source of income, even if dependent on security conditions), while the industry remains underdeveloped. The agricultural sector suffers from the difficulty of water supply and from the obstacles to exports, due to the closure of the crossings, particularly relevant for the Gaza Strip. The water supply, in particular, remains one of the most serious problems of the Palestinian population and one of the causes that keeps the conflict with Israel alive.
The Anp follows the economic policies outlined in the ‘Palestinian Reform and Development Plan’ (initially conceived as a three-year fiscal plan), drawn up for a conference among Palestine donors held in Paris in 2008. The attempt is to consolidate finances, increase fiscal pressure and limiting public spending, to reduce dependence on aid and to stimulate growth, through investments in the private sector. Nonetheless, the local authorities have not been able to implement these indications and instead of cutting public spending they have instead managed to multiply it to the point of having to pay, between Gaza and the West Bank, about 140,000 civil servants. In Gaza, however, the economic policies of the Hamas administration, bound by the embargo and bank sanctions, they mainly focus on promoting economic autonomy and optimizing the distribution of resources allowed by Israel and Egypt. However, even during the period when the Muslim Brotherhood (close to Hamas) was in power in Egypt, the Gaza authorities continued to suffer from severe financial and logistical constraints. A situation that has definitively disappeared with the government of Egyptian President al-Sisi, in office since June 2014, who has put aside any solidarity ties existing with the local Islamist factions, instead implementing a restrictive policy towards the authorities of the Strip.