Leading Palestinian businessman Bashar al-Masri speaks with The Jerusalem Post, about his billion dollar project — the first modern planned Palestinian city, Rawabi.

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In the making since 2007, workmen are now busy constructing the first of its 6,000 homes.

It offers affordable apartment young middle class families, at a lower cost than the neighboring cities.

But while buyers are lining up, construction has been delayed by a year, he says, because the IDF has yet to grant him a permit he needs to pave a road so that construction trucks can reach the site.

For Masri, building the new city for the new state is a patriotic act more than a business venture.

“Politically speaking this is not the safest place in the world to do business. It is one of the highest risk places. Obviously with this kind of money and investment you are better off going somewhere else,” he says.

“It is part of our duty as Palestinians to use our resources, talents, expertise and know how to build and serve our nation,” he says.

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