Two years ago, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority set himself a deadline. Salam Fayyad said that by August 2011 he would have in place the institutions and offices that would support an independent state of Palestine. Even if the practical operation of such a state continued to be made impossible by Israel, he felt, establishing his own "facts on the ground" would be a major step towards concluding the conflict in former mandate Palestine.
Well those two years are now up, so I travelled to Ramallah last week to ask the PM what progress he had made towards his aim. Surprisingly he told me, “job done”.
In Brussels recently, he said, the World Bank and the IMF both gave their blessings to his work, issuing what he called a "birth certificate" to the new state.
He also told me that, contrary to much recent speculation, he considers his achievement as a core element of the foundation of an upcoming appeal to the UN, a move that he not only supports but considers to be the next logical step towards making an independent state of Palestine a reality.
The full interview with Salam Fayyad is airing on Al Jazeera English on Thursday August 4 at 08:30 GMT and 14:30 GMT.