Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz and senior ministry officials visited the future municipality of Rawabi on Monday, which will soon become the first planned and environmentally friendly Palestinian city.
Peretz and his colleagues met with Rawabi financier Bashar Masri in order to gain insight into the development progress of the city, an Environmental Protection Ministry spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.
Peretz became acquainted with the layout and design of the city, and conveyed the importance of cross-border environmental cooperation.
“Peretz and Bashar sat together and discussed several issues related to the development of Rawabi,” the spokesman told the Post. “Peretz said that pollution has no boundaries and [that] air pollution and polluted creeks don’t really care about fences and the Green Line, so we have to work together.”
The new city, located about nine kilometers northwest of Ramallah and 20 km. north of Jerusalem, should begin opening apartments to residents this summer, the spokesman said.
“The city is built according to advanced standards of green cities and will inhabit young couples who will enjoy the quality of life that this entails,” Peretz wrote on his Facebook page following the visit.
Although unrelated, the Rawabi visit occurred just four days after Peretz and ministry officials met in Tel Aviv with Jamil Matour, acting chairman of the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority.
During the Thursday meeting, the two ministries agreed to establish a joint Israeli-Palestinian team to manage cross-border environmental hazards.
The team is set to convene once a month in order to discuss pertinent environmental issues, such as wastewater treatment and waste management, the Environmental Protection Ministry said.