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JERUSALEM – The Israeli government has unveiled what it billed as a groundbreaking program to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in long-neglected Palestinian neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
The “Leading Change” program aims to reduce the huge social gaps between the Palestinian neighborhoods and the overwhelmingly Jewish western part of the city. Nearly 80 percent of the city’s Palestinian families live in poverty.
The program will invest $560 million in three core areas: education, infrastructure and helping Palestinian women enter the work force. It aims in time to attract further investment.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel considers east Jerusalem part of its capital, while the Palestinians claim it as the capital of their hoped-for state.