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Palestinians Reject ‘Hamas’ Decision to Appoint Municipal Councils

Palestinians Reject ‘Hamas’ Decision to Appoint Municipal Councils

Monday, 28 October, 2019 - 09:00
Palestinians sit with their belongings in a street outside their destroyed house after an Israeli missile targeted a nearby Hamas site, in Gaza City on March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The Palestinian government, factions and civil society have rejected a decision by Hamas movement to appoint the head and members of Rafah’s municipal council.

PA Local Governance Minister Majdi al-Saleh said Hamas’ move prevents citizens from practicing their democratic rights to choose whoever they see fit for the council membership.

Saleh warned of the dangerous encroachment on the local government minister’s powers, affirming that the appointment would impact the work of municipalities and services provided to citizens.

The minister accused Hamas of rejecting to hold municipal elections in the Gaza Strip similar to the West Bank.

According to reliable sources, Hamas is willing to appoint new councils for municipalities and local authorities in Gaza. It has formed several committees from the local community to choose new members.

Ibrahim Radwan, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Local Government (affiliated with Hamas), said the appointments carried out by the movement will now move to bigger municipalities in its efforts to form more effective councils.

However, questions have emerged on the timing of such moves.

Palestinian factions agreed on rejecting Hamas’ appointment of municipal councils, saying it would undermine the democratic process.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement wants to hold the elections to end divisions and give the winner power to rule the West Bank and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

But Fatah Central Committee member Dalal Salama said that Hamas’ latest moves are a sign of rejection to Abbas’ decision and an attempt to quell the people in Gaza by preventing them from taking part in the elections.

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