JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli supermarket magnate will develop a Jewish apartment complex in an Arab neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem after its contractor ran into debt problems.
About one-quarter of 400 planned Jewish-only apartments had been built in the Nof Zion complex in the Jebl Mukaber neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem when the contractor, Digal Investments, was forced to put the rest of the project up for sale.
Israeli businessman Rami Levy and his Australian Jewish partner Kevin Bermeister made a surprise offer Sunday to buy the rest of project.
Owners of the existing apartments reportedly were alarmed when Palestinian-American businessman Bashar al-Masri made an offer to buy the struggling company and announced that he would sell the rest of the apartments to Palestinians.
The national religious community began trying to prop up the company or find a Jewish buyer for the project. Levy’s offer was less than that of al-Masri, according to reports.
Al-Masri, who was represented by Jewish attorney Dov Weisglass, who served as the director of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office, is also building the new Palestinian city of Rawabi near Ramallah in the West Bank.