(, Mo'atza Mekomit
) are one of the three types of local government
found in Israel
, with the other two being cities
and regional councils
. As of 2003, there were 144 local councils in Israel, these being settlements which pass a minimum threshold enough to justify their operations as independent municipal units, although not large enough to be declared a city. In general this applies to all settlements of over 2,000 people, apart from extreme cases where kibbutzes
exceed this number.
The Israeli Interior Minister
has the authority of deciding whether a locality is fit to become a local municipality (a city
). The minister is expected to listen to the wishes of the residents of the locality in question, who may wish the locality to remain a local council even after achieving the requirements for a city (e.g. Ramat HaSharon
, which did not become a city until 2002 due to its residents wanting to preserve its image as a small town), or a part of an regional council
despite having achieved the criteria for a local one. Local councils also have an important role in town planning.