The Cabinet assigned Majed Abd Al Fatah to head the interim municipal council, pending election of permanent council members.
The Rawabi Municipal Council will consist of 11 members drawn from the Palestinian private sector, civil society and academia as well as representatives from various public sector bodies and governmental groups. General elections for permanent council seats will be held when Rawabi’s population reaches the legal threshold for municipal elections as established by the Local Council Elections Law.
The creation of the new Rawabi municipality establishes an important precedent in the history of Palestinian self-governance. It is anticipated that up to 6 additional new municipalities are needed to effectively manage population growth as new urban centers are created and the Palestinian economy expands.
Newly appointed Council head Majed Abd Al Fatah said, “The council’s main focus is to support existing efforts to build the city and to create an administrative and local governance infrastructure that ensures sustainability. We are well aware that we are responsible not only to Rawabi but to the surrounding communities. The council will expend every effort to serve all residents and all business owners equally and to promote our shared best interests.”
Saher Al Kouni, Minister of Local Government added, “The importance of the establishment of a completely new municipality in Palestine cannot be understated. It represents an important step forward in the effectiveness of our internal governance. The new Rawabi Municipal Council will help manage growth as subsequent phases of development progress within the boundaries of the new city.”
Rawabi’s municipal council will undertake the same administrative and development obligations of established municipal councils. It will also work in close coordination with the Rawabi Homeowner Associations (HOAs) representing the city residents. Rawabi’s HOAs will be an essential component of life in the new city, whereby residents will work together to effectively coordinate local community affairs.
The interim council will be headquartered in a temporary facility on the grounds of the new city until the permanent municipal administration building is constructed in the city center.
Rawabi’s new municipal council head Majed Abd Al Fatah currently serves as strategic planning and international relations advisor for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Mr. Abd Al Fatah will be joined by the following interim council members: Amal Moghrabi, P.E., founder and lead architect at Al Moghrabi Engineering and current chair of the Palestine Business Woman Forum; Rasem Kamal, Esq. founder of Kamal Law Firm, board member of the Palestine Affordable Housing Association and a local specialist in homeowner association and residential contract law; Tami Rafidi, principal at the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and a local youth activist and organizer and Dr. Omar Zumo, dean of civil engineering at Birzeit University and head of its cooperative education program. Also serving on the interim Rawabi Municipal Council are Issa Kassis, head of the Palestine Mortgage Housing Corporation (PMHC), Manal Zraiq, general director of Massar Associates and deputy chair of the Palestine Business Woman Forum.
The council also includes representatives of the Palestinian public sector: Bassem Rimawi from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Ayoub Alian representing the Ministry of Education, Islam Abd Al Jaber from the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, and Sonia Zubaidi representing the Ministry of Local Government.
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