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Beit Jala Municipality is a civil, non profit, independent organization that is observed by the Ministry of Local Government of the Palestinian National Authority; it aims at providing all necessary services to the citizens of Beit Jala city. Its major income comes from the revenues of taxes, building licences, crafts licences, and rents.
In 1912 the first municipality council was established in Beit Jala to serve the people of the city and to improve the welfare and life standard. The previous Municipal council was elected and assigned the responsibility of administrating the municipality in may 2005; it was constituted from the mayor of Beit Jala Mr. Raji Zeidan in addition to twelve members (3 females and other 9 male members).
Shortly after the council foundation, the new council set itself an ultimate goal, the creation of an effective administrative structure, with qualified staff to provide high quality and sufficient guidance for short term and long term planning, and for the public and private developments initiatives. The council also seeks to direct and manage growth in the town, to set a rationale for the use of land and water to optimize income to the council from the different services provided throughout the town.
The Municipality of Beit Jala is the administrative body responsible for the day-to-day needs, the provision of basic services and the promotion of the welfare of the citizens of Beit Jala. The council members work hard and in adverse conditions attempting to achieve a better life standard in the city. Among the ongoing projects the municipality is undertaking to provide improved services and infrastructure for residents are:
1- City planning and development strategy.
2- Facilities provision and maintenance.
3- Infrastructure development maintenance.
4- Electrical installation and street lighting.
5- Organization of space and resource utilization.
6- Refuse collection and sanitation.
The current municipal council was elected in October, 2012 and is constituted from the new mayor Dr. Nael Salman in addition to twelve members ( 3 females and 9 males).
Goals of the Municipality
To achieve a better society there should be a group of goals that serve the society, which can be summarized in the following:
1- Organizing the process of building: to achieve this goal the municipal council will design a new master plan to accommodate the population growth and the needs of the city.
2- Improve the infrastructure of the city including water, sewage, telecommunication and electricity networks.
3- Improve the level of services provided to the public.
4- Tighten the relationships with active institutes (governmental and NGO's) in the city and work together on improving the life standards of the inhabitants of the city.
5- Strengthening the relationship with the public.
6- Improve the health standards and conditions.
Since 1998 a number of very significant projects have been implemented in Beit Jala city, namely widening and asphalting existing roads, constructing sidewalks, construction of new roads, building stone walls and retaining walls, renovating and preserving the old city, organizing a day to day campaign for refuse collection and sanitation, constructing an additional floor to the municipal building, and constructing the Peace Public Park in the city that consists of a children’s play ground, a natural pond for birds and a family green park in addition to the Community Center for Youth with generous funds from the Autonomous Province of Trento – Italy as well as a Public Library with generous funds from USAID through CHF International and with generous contribution from the Ministry of Culture; both projects are adjacent to the Public Park . The Municipality has also purchased a land with a total area of 3000 dunums for the purpose of constructing a Public Park in a different location in the city.
Additionally, Beit Jala Municipality has lately constructed a City Hall over the youth community center with funds from the Ministry of Finance as well as installing a Sewerage Network in an area known as Cremisan in Beit Jala city.
Recently,Beit Jala Municipalityis working on constructing a commercial center in the center of Beit Jala City as well as rehabilitating different internal roads in the city of Beit Jala.