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Luxury Malls Catering to 'Refugee' Arabs Expect Handsome Profit

Despite their portrayal as impoverished refugees, local Arabs are expected to swarm into several new luxury malls opening in Arab populated areas.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 6/22/2009, 2:28 PM / Last Update: 6/22/2009, 4:17 PM

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Despite an international diplomatic and media campaign to portray themselves as impoverished refugees, local Arabs are expected to swarm into several new luxury malls which are opening in Arab-populated areas of Judea, Samaria, and other parts of Israel.

Last month, fireworks burst above Jenin's new Hirbawi Home Center, a luxury shopping center on the outskirts of a city notorious for producing terrorists.  In 2002 as part of Operation Defensive Shield, a bloody battle took place between Israel Defense Forces and terror cells in the town, during which 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Arabs were killed.

The five-story shopping center offers top-of-the-line imported items in a lavish building which cost $5 million to build.

So ample are the profits Hirbawi Home Center CEO Ziad Turabi expects from Jenin, he is already building a center in Ramallah, with Shechem, Hebron, and Tulkarem branches to follow.

According to Turabi, Judean and Samarian Arabs have the money necessary to support his shopping centers, and are interested in buying quality imported items. The goods, including plasma televisions and espresso machines, reach his stores through Israel's port in Ashdod.

Prices are not expected to be significantly less than in the rest of Israel, to the exclusion of furniture, which will cost approximately 40 percent less than in Jewish stores.