Israeli companies to construct new Palestinian city
Saleh Naami in Gaza, Tuesday 28 Dec 2010
Al-Rawabi, the first Palestinian city to be created in the West Bank since the 1967 Israeli occupation enrages illegal settlers and confuses Palestinians

Palestinians settle back. Israeli military radio has revealed that the Palestinian Authority has awarded contracts worth billions of dollars to twenty Israeli companies as part of the construction of Al-Rawabi city, the first Palestinian city to be created in the West Bank since the 1967 Israeli occupation.

The report mentioned that the companies have committed to not using products manufactured in West Bank settlements. The station added that it has obtained a copy of the contract.

The establishment of a new Palestinian city has fostered antagonism among Israeli settlers in the West Bank and stirred controversy in the Palestinian arena.

The settlers consider a new Palestinian city, that will be funded by the European Union, to be an obstacle to settlement expansion and construction.

The settlers’ lobby is exerting their usual pressure on Knesset members representing the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and the Shas movement to have the Israeli government stop construction of the city.

Settler activists went as far invaded a house in the city and expelled laborers working in the city’s infrastructure construction projects.

On the other hand, many Palestinian observers questioned the aim behind founding the city saying that it is intended as a hub to absorb a large number of refugees in a scheme to resettle them.