J'lem Mayoral Candidate: 'We'll Build'

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Jerusalem mayoral candidate Nir Barkat said if elected, the city would build a new Jewish neighborhood on state-owned lands adjacent to French Hill, to be called Sha'ar Hamizrach.

"A new Jewish neighborhood will be established that will provide a solution to the housing needs of students and the city's younger generation," Barkat said during a tour of the area Monday with David Be'eri, head of the Elad Organization, which helped initiate the City of David archaeological digs, and Arieh King, manager of Israel Lands Fund.

"This is an important statement by a leading contender for Jerusalem's mayoralty," said King said, who believes the proposed neighborhood could easily support some 2,000 housing units.

Barkat, King and Be'eri met with Jewish residents of Hashalom neighborhood and with Arab residents of Shuafat, who talked about the need to improve the area's infrastructure and asked to be more involved in municipal planning.

Barkat said he would not only work to improve area's roads, sewage and sanitation facilities, but would welcome more Arab representation in the municipality's work.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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