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Architect eyes tony Palestinian city with eco-mindset and fast Internet

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In addition to the 6,000 units – 1,000 classified as luxury – there will be a commercial and cultural center and even an amphitheater.

Foreign investor footed $700 million bill

It’s an “if you build it, they will come” approach – one that represents a leap of faith into the Palestinian future. And when Mr. Masri, originally from Nablus and educated in Egypt and the United States, first began developing the concept in 2007, he knew he would need foreign investors. What he didn’t expect is that one major investor would come forward – Qatar Diar, a real estate company owned by the Qatari government – with the entire $700 million-plus he needed.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also became a fan of Rawabi, which, on a clear day, will command a view of the Tel Aviv skyline. That helped Masri push his plan through the sluggish bureaucracy of the Palestinian Authority (PA). And Masri notes that members of the Israeli business community and Israeli President Shimon Peres have offered support.

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