Ironically enough, some have called the new construction project being built in Al-Rawabi, north of Ramallah in the West Bank, as the first “Palestinian Settlement”, to actually be the first legal settlement in an area filled with illegal Israeli settlements.
“Bulldozers are here and building is now under way in what will be the biggest construction project in modern Palestinian history.
Rawabi, which actually means “hills” in Arabic, will be the first purpose-built Palestinian city.” -BBC News
The new project is supposed to house more than 40,000 people once it is finished after an expected period of 5 years. Most of the 700 m dollars needed for the project were invested by the Qatari Government.
However, a current problem lies in the fact that
“The Palestinians control the land on which Rawabi will be built, but not the area through which its access road will have to go.
Israel has yet to grant permission for the road, which will be essential for the project to succeed.
At the moment, the only way to access the site is via a narrow and bumpy back road.” -BBC News
Inspite of hurdles created by the Israeli government regarding permission for the new city road, Palestinians have started building the city, with the hope that it will be a place to live in with higher standards than ones allowed by Israeli government.
I find it sad to call a Palestinian housing project over a Palestinian land as a “settlement”, but I guess that by the end of the day, what it is being called does not really matter as long as these people enjoy a decent living on a decent land that they own, legally.