Local councils (Hebrew: מועצה מקומית, 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.
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