ICANN has received a request to delegate فلسطين. as a country-code top-level domain representing the Occupied Palestinian Territory. ICANN Staff have assessed the request, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.
The "PS" ISO 3166-1 code, from which this application's eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “فلسطين”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the 2003 IDNA specification as “xn--ygbi2ammx”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0641 U+0644 U+0633 U+0637 U+064A U+0646.
In Arabic language, the string has a meaning equivalent to “Palestine” in English. Its pronunciation in English is transliterated as “Falasteen”. The string is expressed using the Arabic script.
The Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority (PNINA) was established by two presidential degrees in early 2003. The organisation is comprised of representative of both the public and private sectors. Its goals are to operate the “.PS” top-level domain and a number of sub-domains.
In December 2009, an application was made to the "IDN Fast Track" process to have the string "فلسطين" recognised as representing the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The request was supported by Palestinian Minister of Telecom and Information Technology, with additional community support from The Islamic University of Gaza, the Palestinian Information and Communication Technologies Association, the Palestine Chaper of the Internet Society, and the Palestinian IT Association of Companies.
On 1 March 2010, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that "the applied-for string associated with the application from [the Occupied Palestinian Territory] (a) present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS ... and (b) present an acceptable low risk of user confusion". The request for the string to represent the Occupied Palestinian Territory was subsequently approved.
The proposed sponsoring organisation is the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology, a governmental department of the Palestinian National Authority.
The proposed administrative contact is Suleiman Zuhairi, the Chairman of the Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority. The administrative contact is understood to be based in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The proposed technical contact is Marwan Radwan, the General Manager of the Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority.
The top-level domain “فلسطين“ is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Dr Mashhour Abudaka, Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, has written in support of delegation of the domain to the Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority. The Minister stated “PNINA proved to be a very stable and professional institution that successfuly managed the .PS ccTLD for the last seven plus years and its governing board represents all stakeholders of the ICT sector in Palestine.”. No expression of support from government has been received supporting the specific configuration of this request, namely, to delegate the Ministry itself as the sponsoring organisation operating the domain.
Support to delegate the domain to the Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority was also received from the Palestinian IT Association of Companies, the Palestinian Information and Communication Technologies Association, and the Palestine Chapter of the Internet Society.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner. No undertaking has been received from the Ministry in this respect.
The proposed sponsoring organisation is a governmental entity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority is a some form of independent entity established by presidential decree, located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The registry is to be operated in the country.
The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.
The application is not known to be contested.
The Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority is the established operator of the .PS top-level domain. Satisfactory detail on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain has been provided.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is tasked with managing the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes managing the delegations of top-level domains.
A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains, and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) who meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from their local Internet community, their capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and their applicability under any relevant local laws.
Through an ICANN department known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), requests are received for delegating new country-code top-level domains, and redelegating or revoking existing country-code top-level domains. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented. Decisions on whether to implement requests are made by the ICANN Board of Directors, taking into account ICANN’s core mission of ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.
The evaluation of eligibility for country-code top-level domains, and of evaluating responsible trustees charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. The evolution of the principles has been documented in “Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (RFC 1591), “Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (ICP-1), and other informational memoranda.
In considering requests to delegate or redelegate country-code top-level domains, input is sought regarding the proposed Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.
The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:
To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.
After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.
Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries for the top-level domain being requested. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.
Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the top-level domain being requested. This assessment is submitted to ICANN’s Board of Directors for its determination on whether to proceed with the request.