Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received a boost Thursday when his close political ally, Modi'in mayor Haim Bibas, was elected head of the Union of Local Authorities in Israel. Bibas defeated the incumbent candidate, Ma'alot mayor Shlomo Buhbut, winning 60 percent of the vote. The election brings a generational change to the ULAI from the 71-year-old Buhbut to Bibas, who is only 44.

"The Local Authorities have begun a new path today for small, medium and large communities, Jewish and non-Jewish," Bibas said. "We will work together to advance communities of all sizes."

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