This study examines boundary conflicts between urban and rural local authorities in Israel. It focuses on three basic questions: what are the reasons for urban-rural boundary conflicts?; do these reasons vary across time and space?; and, what are the underlying structural causes that shape these variations? The study is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of boundary conflicts involving Israeli rural regional councils between the 1960s and the early 1990s. It demonstrates that macro-societal structural processes are at the root of urban-rural boundary conflicts. Mounting pressures on regional councils have arisen from political, economic and ideological processes which have shaken the foundations of the councils and produced unprecedented pressures on their territory. Processes of counter-urbanization have played a substantial role, but have been deeply intertwined in a political-ideological context. These processes may either lead to: (1) further fragmentation and contraction of areas managed by rural local government; (2) transformation of rural local governments into entities of a new type; or (3) formation of new forms of urban-rural regional co-operation.