Israel, Palestinians argue over building new city in West Bank

09:22, January 04, 2011      

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by Osama Radi, Saud Abu Ramadan

Arguments between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) mounted on Monday over building a new city north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, which involved several private Israeli housing companies.

Several months ago, the Palestinian Developing Company of Beiti, the major Palestinian company responsible for building the city, and around 12 Israeli construction companies signed the contracts to build the first-ever new Palestinian city called Rawabi. However, the contracts valued billions of Israeli shekels have been opposed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

Israeli Radio reported Monday that around 48 Israeli legislators had signed on a petition calling for boycotting the 12 Israeli companies.

Bashar al-Masri, executive director of the Palestinian Developing Company of Beiti, said the Israeli petition "is another Israeli obstacle to build the city."

"This petition is not only obstructing the Palestinians to build their city, but also harming the Israeli economy," Masri told Xinhua.

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