APLA Executive Committee discusses future requirements with Minister of Local Government

26 Feb 2024
APLA Executive Committee discusses future requirements with Minister of Local Government

Chaired by Abdul Karim az-Zubeidi, the Executive Committee of the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) discussed with the Minister of Local Government, Eng. Majdi as-Saleh, a number of issues and challenges that confront local government units (LGUs) and risk reducing service provision to citizens. The discussion was tailored to create working mechanisms to ensure sustainable municipal operations and promote Palestinians’ perseverance on their land. Held at the APLA office in Ramallah, the meeting brought together the APLA Executive Committee members and representatives of executive teams of both parties.

 

As-Saleh called on LGUs to take responsibility for leading the current phase, which has overburdened the government, institutions, and individuals. LGUs can play a critical role in maintaining community safety and protecting the national project. As-Saleh stressed that the “national priority is to stop the aggression against Gaza and put an end to recurrent assaults on our cities, towns and refugee camps in the West Bank.” In the local government sector, the priority area of action is to provide relief to Gaza LGUs, keep the local government system afloat, and maintain the sustainability of LGUs and service delivery.

 

Az-Zubeidi highlighted that LGUs would continue to assume national responsibilities towards citizens in all circumstances. He called for promoting engagement between APLA and the Ministry of Local Government to devise practical solutions in support of LGUs under the difficult conditions faced by the Palestinian people at large and by LGUs in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Az-Zubeidi made clear that APLA was in the process of developing an integrated programme of action to support Gaza LGUs in several vital areas.

 

The APLA Executive Committee stressed that it would not save an effort to meet citizens’ needs and provide essential and critical services to communities on a daily basis and in all circumstances. Completely aware of the Palestinian government’s daunting challenges, the Committee called on the government to take into account the financial situation of LGUs and find urgent solutions to a set of critical issues to ensure that LGUs are capable of meeting requirements for the immediate future. 

 

Both parties discussed a set of proposals for a mechanism to work on significant issues that would support LGU functions, stressing the importance of harmony between the government and LGUs. To maintain interests of the homeland and citizens, all LGU operations will be reviewed, including laws, regulations, policies, budgets, LGU courts, solid waste management, and financial issues, such as professional licence fees and property tax.