Palestinian protestors throw stones at Israeli security forces during clashes in the northern village of Qusra, south of the city of Nablus, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, after Jewish settlers from the nearby Esh Kodesh outpost used the cover of fog to approach Qusra with the aim of uprooting dozens of olive saplings, but were confronted by Palestinian farmers who threw stones at them, on January 5, 2013. Image Credit: AFP

Ramallah: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a presidential decree replacing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) with the State of Palestine and ordering the use of its logo on all Palestinian official documents and transactions.

According to the presidential decree, the state of Palestine will be used instead of the PNA and all Palestinian embassies in countries which recognise Palestine should implement this measure immediately.

Abbas’s decree said that as per the UN General Assembly resolution No G A 11317, which upgraded the state of Palestine to a non-member observer state, and under the recommendations of the Palestinian committee commissioned to implement the UN resolution, all the Palestinian official documents, transactions, stamps, board signs and internal mail will use the State of Palestine rather than the name “PNA” with immediate effect.

On November 29th, a total of 138 nations voted in favour of upgrading the status of Palestine to a non-member observer state from an observer entity. Nine other states voted against the resolution and 41 states absented.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Interior Ministry will start issuing new passports and identity cards for Palestinians which will show the term State of Palestine in place of the Palestinian Authority, said a senior official.

The Palestinian official told Gulf News that the main gain of the UN General Assembly vote to upgrade the status of Palestine is the deletion of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the use of the State of Palestine as a replacement. “There is no place for the PNA on our official documents any more,” he said.

Since its establishment in 1994 following the Oslo Accords, the PNA has been issuing Palestinians with passports with the words Palestinian Authority on the cover. Those PNA passports are made in France and brought to the PNA so that Palestinians with national identity cards (which are issued by Israel) can obtain a passport.

“The situation will change after the UN vote in that the State of Palestine will issue the Palestinian public new passports with those words on the cover,” he said.

The official said that even the identity cards currently issued by the PNA will be changed and will be reissued by the State of Palestine.