Haredi residents of Ramat Beit Shemesh are protesting plans to build a shopping mall complex in their neighborhood. The project in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph has gained initial city approval and includes a mall, office buildings, a college, and apartments, Beit Shemesh Municipality spokesman Yehuda Gur-Arieh said. The proposal is being marketed to contractors by the Israel Lands Authority, and is intended for both religious and secular residents, Gur-Arieh said. But haredi residents of the predominantly haredi neighborhood said the plan was not appropriate because it would bring in secular outsiders. "We want to see as few secular people as possible in our neighborhood and certainly not on Shabbat," said resident Michal Shtrafberg. "It is clear that such a plan will cause immense opposition and a huge mess." MKs from United Torah Judaism and Shas are working to change the project's location, said Beit Shemesh Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Perlstein, an opponent of the building plans. "People here feel very uneasy about this plan, which was originally made 10 years ago, and which opens up this small neighborhood to the whole world," Perlstein said in a telephone interview. Beit Shemesh has 90,000 residents, including around 24,000 in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph and 11,000 in the even more religiously conservative Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet - where placards tell passersby to wear modest dress - has experienced violence over such issues, with the city's secular police chief repeatedly called a Nazi. A shopping center in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet lies empty because of haredi opposition, residents said. The mixed part of Beit Shemesh has a large, popular mall.