Teenager says residents should work in the West Bank

A 15 year old girl, who has acted as the first female mayor of a West Bank town since participating in a summer-long youth empowerment programme, said residents should work locally rather than illegally cross the Green Line.

Bashaer Othman took the role two months ago and is reportedly responsible for all decisions, except financial ones, that govern the 9000 resident Allar town.

Ms Othman wants to challenge the high unemployment statistics in the area, and prevent residents illegally entering Israel to work.

“If I could achieve one thing, it would be to create a project to provide as many youth jobs as possible.

“Many people from Allar are crossing the Green Line [illegally entering Israel] to work.

“Instead of them going to work as cheap labour in Israel, we need to create jobs here.”

Sufian Shadid, the official mayor of Allar, said: “The programme will give young people a chance to participate in civil society and more confidence to become part of the political system in the future.”

Last updated: 4:02pm, August 22 2012