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Menashe area neighborhoods close gates in protest of planned haredi city

Menashe area neighborhoo

The Menashe Regional Council and surrounding neighborhoods closed their gates on Tuesday in protest of discussions being held in the Construction and Housing Ministry in Jerusalem on plans to build a large haredi city at Harish, east of Hadera. The Construction and Housing Ministry is planning to expropriate land in the area in order to build the city for 150,000 haredim, in the heart of Wadi Ara. Three Hashomer Hatza'ir Kibbutzim - Ma'anit, Barkai, and Metzer - have formed a coalition with three neighboring Arab villages - Um al-Kutuf, Meysar and Barta'ah - to block the building of Harish, which, they say, will disrupt the delicate relations between Arabs and Jews in the area and will destroy protected green areas. Two decades ago, the government approved a plan to build 9,000 housing units in Harish, which was originally slated to be secular town. But the plans faltered after Harish failed to attract residents. Matthew Wagner contributed to this report
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