- The code
".ps" for the Palestinian Territories was included in October
1999 in the United Nations ISO 3166 list, which assigns each nation a country
code, even though the Palestinian Territories was not an independent state
(still the case today); this was a significant political step towards recognition
of the state, even though the territories were still legally within the
state of Israel.
- The registry
was therefore assigned to the future Palestinian state but needed to be
organized and made operational. The USAID (United States Agency for International
Development), working through the DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.) office
in Washington, commissioned a study for management of the domain ".ps",
based on reliable business, marketing and financial criteria for an initial
period of three years.
with me, USAID engaged Robert Krause (USA). This was in the first months
of 2000: my presence, over and above the experience I had of years managing
the domain ".it", would make the initiative more politically
acceptable to the Palestinian Territories than one involving only the U.S.
some months preparatory work, I visited Jerusalem (project's headquarters),
Ramallah, Birzeit and Gaza in the month of June; the Palestinians immediately
questioned the reason for my presence in a venture financed by the US government
and I explained why I thought it was important to promote an independent
presence of the Palestinian Territories in the Internet community.
was also seen as a European country sympathetic to the Palestinian cause
and I had no difficulties in being accepted as an ally.
the mission I participated in a busy series of meetings with key figures,
from the research and academic environment, the private sector and the
- I travelled
several times from Jerusalem to Ramallah, not far from Arafat's headquarters,
the journey by car interrupted frequently by road blocks and controls,
but this was nothing compared to the controls before entering Gaza.
- On my
return to Italy, together with Robert Krause I drew up our final report
which was sent to the Palestinian Minister for Planning and International
Co-Operation, Nabil Shaath, a refined person I had had the pleasure of
- The business
plan for the first three years of the registry envisaged the creation of
a centre of excellence which would gather and combine inputs from the local
Internet community, and ensure state-of-the-art technological and administrative
experience, and non only for management of the registry.
- The Palestinians
submitted a request for registry activation to ICANN, with our study attached
and the registry became operationally active.