What is the difference between the “Palestinian National Authority” vs. the “Palestinian Authority”?
The Palestinian Authority (PA) was created by the Oslo peace process. It was formalized by elections held on January 20, 1996 when Palestinian Arabs elected an 88-member legislative council and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yaser Arafat, running with only token opposition, became the Palestinian Authority’s first president.
The PA made commitments under the Oslo accords to end its war of terrorism against Israel. In exchange, Israel yeilded its security arrangments in the Palestinian Arab areas of Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) so that the PA gained control of the areas where 99% of the Palestinian Arab population lives. These steps were supposed to be the basis of eventual statehood for the Palestinians, the building of the infrastructure of a true nation, living in peace with its neighbors including Israel. Instead, the result has been a dramatic increase in terrorist strikes against Israel, culminating in the horrific deeds of the al-Aqsa intifada starting in September 2000. Progress toward "permanent status" negotiations, as defined by the Oslo agreements, have been derailed by the failure, refusal or inability of the PA to control terrorist violence. The terminology "Palestinian National Authority" is a deceit authored by Yasser Arafat's Palestine Authority in order to advance their agenda of a formal Palestinian state. By inserting the word "national" they imply there is a nation of Palestine and that their organization represents that state with the powers of a nation. But there never was a nation called Palestine or any nation composed of Palestinian Arabs. The current policies of the Palestinian Authority, participating in terrorism and failing repeatedly to honor negotiated peace agreements, will delay or scuttle the possibility of such a nation. Any state with the goals, practices and actions of the PA will be dedicated to the destruction of Israel and therefore not welcome in the world community. The fiction of a "Palestinian National Authority" has been accepted by those who are unthinkingly pro-Palestinian, but has been strictly avoided by more scrupulous organizations such as the US government and other official national or world bodies. Many media sources have been very careless, using the PA and PNA terminology almost interchangably.