New Abu Snan Mayor Starts Work, as Rivals Besiege City Hall Building

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Fears of violence forced the newly-elected mayor of Abu Snan to hold his first meeting at a dilapidated community center yesterday, instead of town hall.

Ali Hazima, who was recently declared the winner in hotly contested mayoral elections by the Haifa District Court, agreed not to enter the municipal building, which is under siege by supporters of former mayor Nihad Mishlab.

"We are bound by a responsibility to prevent violence that will injure citizens or draw police into an unnecessary confrontation," Hazima said, as he and his supporters entered the community center.

"So we decided to compromise and provide the town with the best possible governance."

A few months ago, Hazima petitioned the Haifa District Court to overturn Mishlab's most recent election victory, claiming massive vote forgery. The court accepted the claims and ruled Hazima had won.

The High Court later rejected a petition by Mishlab to rescind the Haifa District Court's decision. The two sides have been deadlocked ever since.

In recent weeks tensions in the Galilee town have mounted, and homes of Hazima's supporters have been targeted in grenade attacks.

Police have been reluctant to forcibly remove Mishlab's supporters from town hall, and are trying to reach a compromise.

Meanwhile, a temporary agreement negotiated by Druze spiritual leader Mowfak Tarif and MK Ayoob Kara enabled Hazima to hold a meeting at the community center yesterday.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op