Middle East: Firing the Mayor

New clashes on the West Bank

Backed by 50 soldiers, the Israeli official marched into the second-story office of Ibrahim Tawil, the Arab mayor of the West Bank municipality of El-Bireh (pop. 25,000). He handed Tawil a formal document bearing ominous news: the mayor and his seven-man local council were fired. Tawil responded with a laconic "Thank you very much." After a few seconds of awkward silence, one of the soldiers ordered him to leave his office forthwith. Tawil, who had run the municipality since winning an Israeli-sponsored election in 1976, was...

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