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Abu Ghosh, Arab Town Known For Warm Ties To Zionism, To Get Yasser Arafat Center

The Times of Israel reports: The Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, known for a history of friendly relations with Jews and Zionism, is to initiate construction on Wednesday of a cultural center in honor of a Palestinian figure revered among Arabs but deeply unpopular among many Jews, Yasser Arafat.

Located 10 kilometers west of Jerusalem and with a population of around 7,000 people, Abu Ghosh is well known for its beautiful churches, classical music festivals, hummus restaurants, brand-new megalith mosque, and its uniquely friendly relations with the majority Jewish population in its surroundings.

On Wednesday, a large ceremony is scheduled to take place in the town to celebrate the laying of a foundation stone for a cultural center in honor of Arafat, the late PLO chief and Nobel peace prize laureate.

Arafat, who died in 2004, remains a venerated figure among Palestinians, but is seen by many in Israel as an unreformed terrorist who doomed the 2000 Camp David attempt at peacemaking, orchestrated the suicide bombing onslaught of the Second Intifada that followed, and disseminated a still-prevailing narrative among Palestinians that denies Jews’ history and legitimacy in the Holy Land.

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