Steps to a two state solution: Support the development of Rawabi

Steps to a two state solution: For Israel, for Palestine, for peace

Step Thirteen: Support the development of Rawabi

The first pre-planned Palestinian city, Rawabi is a $1.4bn development in the West Bank and the brainchild of Palestinian entrepreneur and businessman Bashar Masri. Close to Ramallah, the project has faced opposition from both Israeli settlers and right-wingers and the BDS movement, but Masri is unrepentant, suggesting https://www.rawabi.ps/en/news/1575989990: “I’m creating jobs for my fellow Palestinians. I am populating the land [and] if I’m not doing it, the settlers are. We’re not sugar-coating the occupation. We’re not normalising with the occupation. We are defying the occupation.” The development of Rawabi, which aims to eventually provide homes for around 40,000 Palestinians and will include business, educational, shopping and leisure facilities, stalled in 2014 thanks to a now-resolved dispute with Israel about the supply of water and is now motoring again. An innovative mortgage system, unusual in the West Bank, is attracting middle-class Palestinian home-buyers, while Masri envisages a tech hub opened in 2018 forming the nucleus of the future state’s very own Silicon Valley. “It’s about nation-building,” Masri argues. 

Rawabi deserves international political and economic support as a model for the kind of private sector-led growth that will be crucial to underpinning the success of a Palestinian state. 

 

Further Reading:

Rawabi official website: https://www.rawabi.ps/ 

With all his chips in, Palestinian businessman aims to build ‘Silicon Rawabi’: https://www.timesofisrael.com/with-all-his-chips-in-palestinian-businessman-aims-to-build-silicon-rawabi/ 

New Palestinian city has condos, a mall and a sports club — but no water: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/new-palestinian-city-has-condos-a-mall-and-a-sports-club–but-no-water/2015/02/24/d5a28dcc-b92e-11e4-a200-c008a01a6692_story.html 

Welcome to Rawabi, a Palestinian ghost town attracting thousands of visitors: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium.MAGAZINE-welcome-to-rawabi-a-palestinian-ghost-town-attracting-thousands-of-visitors-1.10353759