President Mahmoud Abbas has decreed that the Palestinian Authority will start to issue passports, identity cards, vehicle licences and postage stamps emblazoned with the name "State of Palestine".
An official statement broadcast by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, confirmed that the decision is the embodiment of the UN decision to upgrade Palestine's status last November.
"The decision sets out to establish the state on the ground, build its institutions, strengthen its mandate over the people of Palestine and its sovereignty over its land,"said the statement. "It is a qualitative step on the path to the independence of the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital."
Until now, the PA has used the name "Palestinian Authority" as stipulated in the Oslo Agreement signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Israel in 1993.
Abbas's decree was issued by the Council of Ministers. It sets out a maximum period of two months for amendments to laws and regulations to be made. A special system shall be set up to issue new identity numbers to be recorded on all new documents and used for national statistics' purposes, it has been decided.