Israel turning Rawabi into ghost city
Jerusalem Online - Gal Cohen - Refuses to allow the new upmarket Palestinian city to be linked up to water infrastructure, preventing occupation of hundreds of completed apartments
The first planned Palestinian city, Rawabi, is arousing strong emotions. It's not just that the Palestinian flag is everywhere. Bashar Masri, who is building the city, knew where to buy land: 13 kilometers north of Ramallah, with a view from Hadera to Ashkelon. If Masri succeeds, he will be the Yoel Moshe Solomon of the Palestinians.
In the next seven years, 40 thousand Palestinian “yuppies” are supposed to move to Rawabi, and the price of a 240 meter apartment with a porch is around 160,000 American dollars. How is Masri able to sell apartments for so cheap? He is passionate that all stones come from Rawabi itself, stones are cut in a factory he established himself, and he is producing all of the gravel himself. All the rest he buys in Israel.
A year ago, Masri was supposed to deliver the first 650 apartments, but there is a small problem: Israel refuses to connect the Rawabi to the water supply. Israel must provide the water to the Palestinian controlled area because the Palestinians are forbidden to drill on their own.
There is no doubt at all, that in the end Israel will open the water supply to Rawabi, but as usual, it will be a long process, after a phone call from Merkel or Obama. Meanwhile, some of the families who already paid are annoyed by the delays and have cancelled their purchase.
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