Arabic is the official language within the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian Arabic is the vernacular. Hebrew and English are widely spoken. 16.1% of the population speaks Hebrew as their native language and Hebrew is also a second or third language to many other Palestinians.
Administrative divisions The Constitution of the League of Arab States says the existence and independence of Palestine cannot be questioned de jure even though the outward signs of this independence have remained veiled as a result of force majeure. The League supervised the Egyptian trusteeship of the Palestinian government in Gaza after the termination of the British Mandate and secured assurances from Jordan that the 1950 Act of Union was "without prejudice to the final settlement".
By the 1988 declaration, the PNC empowered its central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and called upon its executive committee to perform the duties of the government-in-exile until its establishment.
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO, the latter assumed control over the Jericho area of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on 17 May 1994. On September 28, 1995, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli military forces withdrew from the West Bank towns of Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Bethlehem. In December 1995, the PLO also assumed responsibility for civil administration in 17 areas in Hebron. While the PLO assumed these responsibilities as a result of Oslo, a new temporary interim administrative body was set up as a result of the Accords to carry out these functions on the ground: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
An analysis outlining the relationship between the PLO, the PNA (PA), Palestine and Israel in light of the interim arrangements set out in the Oslo Accords begins by stating that, "Palestine may best be described as a transitional association between the PA and the PLO." It goes on to explain that this transitional association accords the PA responsibility for local government and the PLO responsibility for representation of the Palestinian people in the international arena, while prohibiting it from concluding international agreements that affect the status of the occupied territories. This situation is said to be accepted by the Palestinian population insofar as it is viewed as a temporary arrangement.
Since the Battle of Gaza (2007), the two separate territories, the Gaza rip and the West Bank, are divided into a Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip and a Fatah civil leadership in the autonomous areas of the West Bank. Each sees itself as the administrator of all Palestinian Territories and does not acknowledge the other one as the official government of the territories. The Palestinian Territories have therefore de facto split into two entities.
Areas Main article: Administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords
Israeli signpost warning Israeli citizens that entry into Area 'A' is forbidden, life-endangering, and constitutes a criminal offenseThe Oslo II Accord created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the Palestinian territories, the Areas A, B and C, until a final status accord would be established. The areas are not contiguous, but rather fragmented depending on the different population areas as well as Israeli military requirements.
Area A (full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority): circa 3% of the West Bank, exclusive East-Jerusalem (first phase, 1995). In 2011: 18%. This area includes all Palestinian cities and their surrounding areas, with no Israeli settlements. Entry into this area is forbidden to all Israeli citizens. The Israel Defense Forces maintain no presence, but sometimes conducts raids to arrest suspected militants.
Area B (Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control): circa 25% (first phase, 1995). In 2011: 21%. Includes areas of many Palestinian towns and villages and areas, with no Israeli settlements.