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Efrat mayor ousted after 15 years in office

A second round was also held in Ariel, the capital of Samaria, where Yair Chetboun defeated former Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan.

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi votes in the municipal election, March 10, 2024. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90.
Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi votes in the municipal election, March 10, 2024. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90.

The Efrat mayoral runoff vote was called Monday in favor of longtime council member Dovi Shefler, marking a loss for incumbent Oded Revivi, who managed the Judean city of 13,000 for the past 15 years.

Revivi conceded on Sunday night, thanking “the residents of Efrat for the privilege of being the council head for the past 15 and a half years.”

The longtime mayor of Efrat was one of the few leaders in Judea and Samaria who backed the Trump administration’s proposed “deal of the century.” The disagreement led him to step down from his role in the Yesha Council, which represents the interests of Israelis in the disputed area.

On Monday, Shefler thanked the “thousands of residents who voted twice in two weeks and put their faith in me.” The new mayor of Efrat, which has a large Anglo population, will be sworn in on April 1.

Mayoral runoff votes took place across the Jewish state on Sunday municipalities where none of the candidates managed to secure the 40% of ballots required to win in the Feb. 27 first round.

According to the Israeli Interior Ministry, 443,595 people—or 46.1% of eligible voters—cast their ballots on Sunday in 35 cities and towns, including Haifa, Beit Shemesh and Rehovot.

A second round was also held in Ariel, the capital city of Samaria, where Yair Chetboun, who received support from the Religious Zionism Party, defeated former Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan. The new mayor received 62.9% of the votes, compared to 37.1% won by Hazan.

Hazan served in the Knesset between 2015 and 2019, and became known for a series of controversies. In 2018, he was suspended for six months over incidents in which he cursed and insulted colleagues.

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