Local council (Israel)

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Local councils - (plural: מוֹעָצוֹת מְקוֹמִיּוֹת Mo'atzot Mekomiot[1] / singular: מוֹעָצָה מְקוֹמִית Mo'atza Mekomit[2]) are one of the three types of local government found in Israel, the other two being cities and regional councils. There are 124 local councils in Israel.[3]

Local councils should not be confused with local committees, which are lower-level administrative entities.

History

Local council status is determined by passing a minimum threshold, enough to justify operations as independent municipal units, although not large enough to be declared a city.[4][5] In general this applies to all settlements of over 2,000 people.[5]

The Israeli Interior Minister has the authority of deciding whether a locality is fit to become a municipal council (a city). The minister is expected to listen to the wishes of the residents of the locality in question, who may wish the locality to remain a local council even after achieving the requirements for a city (e.g. Ramat HaSharon, which did not become a city until 2002 due to its residents wanting to preserve its image as a small town), or a part of a regional council despite having achieved the criteria for a local one. Local councils also have an important role in town planning.[4]

The Union of Local Authorities in Israel (ULAI) is the umbrella organization of local councils in Israel. The union represents the local councils vis a vis the national government. ULAI was established in 1938, under the British Mandate, as the League of Local Councils.[6]