Saturday, September 5, 2009

Arabs moving into Israeli settlements

Holy city twist: Upwardly mobile Arabs moving into neighborhoods built for Jews

This July 30, 2009 photo shows Israelis sitting in a coffee shop as Arab women walk past in the French hill neighborhood of northern Jerusalem. A small but growing number of Arabs is moving into Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Most come for the better services and reasonable rents,

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Yousef Majlaton moved into the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev for such comforts as proper running water and regular garbage pickup.

The hillside sprawl of townhouses and apartment blocks was built for Jews, and Majlaton is a Palestinian.

Pisgat Zeev is part of Israel's effort to fortify its presence in Jerusalem's eastern half which it captured in the 1967 war.

It wasn't so much the politics of this contested city that drew Majlaton to Pisgat Zeev, however; it was the prospect of escaping the potholed roads and scant municipal services he endured for 19 years while renting in an Arab neighborhood.

"You see that air conditioner?" he said, pointing to the large wall unit cooling his living room. "In the Arab areas, the electricity is too weak to run one that big."

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