About us

The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) is a semi-governmental Non-Profit association that forms a comprehensive framework which holds all the Palestinian local authorities and works for and with them, to provide better services for the Palestinian citizen by defending their rights, and representing them on all levels nationally, regionally, and internationally. The Association was founded on June 19, 1997 in Jerusalem.


APLA has set out its role to link local municipalities with international ones, represent, and defend local authorities by using all means and instruments of lobbying and advocacy on the central and legislative authorities and service provider companies to assist the local authorities and be fair with them. Also, it works on the capacity building of the local authorities through the exchange of information and experiences to assist them in certain special fields that contribute to the development of performance of their employees.


The Association Board (General Assembly) shall consist of all the members who paid their annual subscription fees. General Assembly consists of all local authorities, and supervised by the Administrative Board comprised of 47 elected members by the General Assembly. The Administrative Board shall convene a meeting, chaired by the President of the Association or his/her deputy, once every six months. It can also convene special meetings, when necessary, at the invitation of its President or at a written request signed by at least half the members of the Administrative Board submitted to APLA President. The Decisions of the Administrative Board are made by the absolute majority of the members present. A member of the Administrative Board may not attend the Administrative Board sessions only with an excuse provided at least one day before the meeting.


Also, The Association is managed by an Executive Committee composed of 25 members formed from the heads of municipalities (mayors) as follows: 17 members representing the centers of the governorates, two members from the south governorates and six members from the north governorates (two members from the center, two from the north and two from the south). These shall be elected by the Administrative Board, for two years, in its first meeting. The positions within the Executive Board shall be: (President, Deputy President, Secretary, and Treasurer).


APLA President: Abdulkarim AlZubaidi – Mayor of Selfeet

Deputy President: Anton Salman - Mayor of Bethlehem

Secretary: Saleh Awwad - Mayor of Yatta

Treasurer: Mahmoud Barham - Mayor of Beita

APLA Executive Director: Abdallah Anati.


APLA, is funded through members’ annual subscription fees, proceeds of money invested by the Association, any revenues, grants or donations provided, allowance for the administration and implementation of projects in the local authorities and the fees for the services provided by the Association for these authorities.


APLA is the official elected national umbrella that strives to represent and support the Palestinian LGUs, and advocates for their interests and rights to develop and reach their independence in line with the National Policy Agenda and in accordance with good governance principles and contributes to achieving a greater level of justice, inclusion and sustainability.


Local Government Units Capable of Providing comprehensive and sustainable services in a conducive environment and through effective local governance


1. To represent the Local Authorities at the local, Arab and international levels.

2. To promote ties and relationships among the Palestinian local authorities

3. To contribute to the development of the Local Authorities' performance by facilitating the exchange of information and experiences among them.

4. To contribute to the coordination of the Local Authorities’ position/attitude toward their relationship with the Central Authority.

5. To assist Local Authorities in fields those contribute in developing its employees’ performance, through the appropriate training in advanced administrative and technical areas. 

6. To develop its members’ foreign relationships, and set APLA and the Local Authorities at the appropriate position among the international organizations.

7. To use all means and instruments of lobbying and advocacy on the central and legislative authorities and services providers to assist and just Local Authorities.

General Assembly:

The Association’s membership shall consist of all the existing Local Authorities in Palestine and those that will be formed in the future, Also, the Association’s General Assembly shall consist of all the members who paid their annual subscription fees.

Administrative Committee:

The Association should be supervised by an Administrative Committee comprised of 47 members and formed as follows:

  1. Seventeen (17) Permanent members appointed according to the Association Bylaws and represent the Local Authorities of the cities located in the centers of the Palestinian Governorates as classified by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) including Jerusalem Governorate.
  2. Thirty (30) Non-Permanent members elected for two years by the Assembly, each in his/her area.

Executive Committee:

The Association is managed by an Executive Committee composed of twenty five (25) members formed from the heads of municipalities (mayors) as follows: Seventeen (17) members representing the municipalities of the centers of the governorates, two (2) members from the south governorates and six (6) members from the north governorates (two (2) members from the center, two (2) from the north and two (2) from the south), these shall be elected by the Administrative Committee, for two years, in its first meeting. The positions within the Executive Committee shall be: (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer).  And the President of the Executive Committee shall be the President of APLA.

Most of local authorities, if not all face several challenges to provide sufficient public services to meet citizens’ needs and demands. In such a context, APLA’s role in developing and reforming the local government is crucial. In fact, strengthening LAs and enabling them to perform, as fully functional local authorities accountable to citizens, are key priorities for APLA. This is the main reason for establishing the Technical Support Unit to improve planning, lobbying and coordination across different policy fields and among local, national and international partners. The main objective of establishing the TSU is to provide the LAs with a strong and clearly identifiable voice capable of promoting their interests and representing their needs, as well as a platform for greater cooperation and mutual support between them.

TSU Objectives

  • To improve the technical capacities of LAs in various disciplines (Legal, Planning, Engineering, Management and Finance, Policy, Communication and fundraising)
  • Enhance municipal responsiveness to their citizens’ needs by providing improved and needs based public services and in so doing to improve relations between citizens and official institutions
  • To provide various learning platforms and opportunities and experience exchange of peer to peer learning and develop capacity based on innovative and best practices and approaches locally and internationally.
  • To lead policy and legislation review and dialogue with the concerned parties of the government including MoLG and the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
  • To support LAs to lead local economic development (LED) process and support the implementation of its initiatives and projects.

The TSU will focus its efforts to help the LAs with special emphasis on the Area C Village Councils to provide better services to citizens by providing them with the needed technical assistance and support through the Municipal Technical Hubs at the early stage of the TSU establishment and through the specialized technical units (legal, administrative, financial, planning, and engineering) at the maturity stage of establishing the TSU.

TSU scope of work

  • Continuously assess the needs of the members and design specific technical support packages and facilitate the technical support services provided by MoLG, MDLF, and any other partner.
  • Support developing empowerment programs that are designed to create the right conditions for women to have a more equal access to the decision-making process at the local level.
  • Establish and develop the help desk to support LAs in general and the LAs in-area C in particular to provide the technical support instantly.
  • Design and implement training and orientation programs for the elected councils’ members with particular emphasis on the village councils in area C.
  • Support the LAs with emphasis on Area C Village Councils to implement improvement initiatives aiming at improving services to citizens and creating attractive investment environment through local economic development (LED) plans.
  • Identify and prioritize with the Technical Hubs policies and legislations for review in accordance to the best interest of LAs with emphasis on Area C Village Councils.
  • Support LAs in fundraising and proposal writing and donors’ relationship management and networking.
  • Develop online municipal forums and platform to stimulate learning and exchange of knowledge and experience.
  • Institutionalize the Technical Hubs by creating permanent specialized units in the TSU.
  • Invest in improving the capacity and competencies of the Technical Hubs members through training and experience exchange programs locally and internationally.
  • Support the Technical Hubs to review, propose, and develop policies and contribute to the legislations affecting the sector.
  • Coordinate and manage the Technical Hubs in close cooperation with partners by creating hands on learning environment for members where municipalities’ staff can exchange knowledge, experience, techniques, and skills needed to improve their way of doing business in serving citizens and dealing with the day to day challenges.
  • Lead the lobbying, and advocacy initiatives for defending the rights, interests, and needs of LAs, locally and internationally.
  • Lead the fight for the right of LAs to secure membership in the relevant government committees and be part of the national processes for developing the future national plans, sector strategies and the general budget. APLA and LAs were never deeply involved in the national processes of developing national plans and sector strategies. They weren’t and aren’t involved in developing the general budget, on an annual basis, of the Palestinian National Authority. On the other hand, government thematic committees, where decisions are initiated, and policies are recommended, do not include representatives of APLA or LAs. Some of these government committees traditionally include representatives of civil society and/or the private sector, but never a representative of LAs.
  • Develop the local government national evidence-based research agenda through partnerships with academic institutions to link theories and research with the development of new policies and interventions in key priority areas.
  • Support LAs to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).