Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash 90
Rami Levy, a consumer-focused retailer, in one of his supermarkets.

The much-awaited new Rami Levi Shopping Mall is to open in northern Jerusalem’s Atarot neighborhood this Tuesday, according to a report by Times of Israel.

The mall, geared to serve the needs of both Jewish and Arab residents, will feature about 50 stores in a space of some 25,000 square meters, built at a cost of approximately $53 million.

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The mall, welcomed by many of Israel’s largest retailers, provides a showcase for the most popular commercial chains in the country, Jewish and Arab-owned alike, and is another project aimed at underscoring the Israeli efforts towards coexistence. Rami Levi’s supermarket in Gush Etzion is a similar symbol of coexistence, despite periodic Palestinian Authority terrorists’ attempts to challenge those goals.

However, several Islamist organizations in Jerusalem have opposed the project, warning Arab residents in northern Jerusalem not to shop there and stating that “economic normalization” with Israel is a “betrayal” of people in the Palestinian Authority and helps to destroy its economy.

“I’m not afraid of the security situation,” Rami Levi told Globes in November, noting there was an initial reluctance on the part of the chains because of the mall’s location, “but at the end of the day they understood the great commercial potential.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.