Ramallah government dissolves elected El-Bireh municipal council February 27, 2012

The Palestinian Information Centre  -  26 February 2012

EL-BIREH, (PIC)– The Ramallah government of Salam Fayyad has ordered the dissolution of El-Bireh municipal council that was elected in 2005 with a Hamas majority.

Sources close to the municipality chief and Hamas leader Sheikh Jamal Al-Tawil told the PIC reporter that the municipality members received a phone call from the deputy mayor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Hamdan Al-Barghouthi on Saturday morning to the effect, noting that the minister of local government had signed the order.

They described the decision as political par excellence especially when there is a previous decision for the same ministry retaining municipal councils in the West Bank after end of their legal tenure as caretaker councils, further noting that the decision was issued on Saturday, which is an official day off.

The sources called on the freedoms committee in the West Bank to urgently intervene to bridle the PA in Ramallah, which is crippling all institutions run by Hamas.

They warned that such practices would only impede the reconciliation process, expressing concern that the procedure was taken at a time the Palestinian factions were meeting in Cairo to discuss progress of reconciliation.

Tawil, for his part, refused the decision because it arbitrarily bypassed laws and reflected unaccepted political and partisan inclination.

The Ramallah authority severed all telephone lines in the municipality after Tawil’s refusal of the decision. He commented on the measure, saying that Ramallah does not want anyone to hear our views.

Hamas’s change and reform bloc had won 9 seats of 15-member council.

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