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Mayor of Safad Seeks to Attract American Interest in His City

A three-ply drive to help develop the city of Safad, in Israel, as an unique metropolis combining new industry, the arts and tourist attractions has attracted wide interest in the United States, Abraham Hacohen, mayor of Safad, declared here today. The city is the capital of Israel’s Upper Galilee district.

Among industries sought by Safad, he said, are factories to manufacture Jewelry, clothing, institutional uniforms and electronics. “A number of American industrialists,” he said, “have shown keen interest in establishing some of these enterprises in Safad.”

At the same time, Mr. Hacohen said, plans have been completed during his current, three-week visit to the United States, for a series of annual international festivals to be held at Safad in the fields of graphic arts, music and the dance. The third area being developed by the city is recreational for both local residents and tourists.

Industries attracted to the new Safad in the last six years have included tobacco factories, drug manufacture, halvah plants, clothing makers, and printing, Safad is the site of the oldest printing plant in the entire Middle East. The first Hebrew book printed in the Middle East appeared in Safad, then the most important intellectual center in Palestine, in 1577.

At the same time, however, Mr. Hacohen said, Safad has never allowed its old city, dating back many centuries, to deteriorate. Because of the scenic interest in Safad’s old city, Safad has for years been one of the most important art centers in Palestine and Israel.

The new Safad, the Mayor said, has built a municipal stadium, schools, high schools, and a large, municipal swimming pool. The city is one of Israel’s principal tourist attractions and, last year, drew more than 100,000 tourists.

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