Palestinians building $1.5bn settlement - without water
Both Israelis and Palestinians favor peace.
A new Palestinian settlement is being built on the hills of Judea and although it lacks water and costs over one billion dollars, it stands as a political statement. The settlement has been largely funded by a grant from the government of Qatar.
A graphic of how the town of Rawabi will look once completed.
Despite the obvious challenges to infrastructure, the settlement costs nearly one-and-a-half billion dollars with most of the money being invested by the government of Qatar. The other comes from private Palestinian investors.
Cranes topped with Palestinian flags are constructing the settlement comprised of high-rise apartments, theaters, shopping malls, and soccer stadiums. The settlement is intended to be modern and middle-class.
However, the flags are galling to nearby Israelis who see the settlement as a political statement - which it is. The Palestinians are saying they are not afraid to assert their claims and to build.
Both sides say they want peace, and recall with revulsion the recent days of conflict. However, neither side is happy with the other.
Palestinians who wish to live in the town will need a permit from the Israelis allowing them to drive to and from the settlement on the only access road.
Water will also need to be piped in through Israel.
Although both sides may look angrily at one another from opposing hilltops, neither side wants conflict. For those investing in the settlement, they will only see returns if peace holds. If conflict destroys the settlement, the money sunk into it will be lost.
New polls suggest that as much as 70 percent of Israelis are willing to accept a Palestinian state if it ensures peace.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Israel, Gaza, Palestine, Palestinian, settlement, Rawali
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