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Palestinians Construct Billion-Dollar City on a Hill

On a hilltop between Ramallah and Nablus, the new Palestinian city of Rawabi is being built at a cost of $1 billion. Construction began in 2010 and the first of the expected 40,000 inhabitants are due to move in by the end of 2014.

Above, a Palestinian worker leans on a light pole after his shift on Feb. 24, 2014.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

A model shows how Rawabi is due to look on completion. The city's founder, Bashar Al-Masri, told NBC News last year that the design, planning and construction are all by Palestinians. Though they had sought outside help, he said, there was no input from Israel.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

"This is about nation-building," Al-Masri told NBC News. A photo taken on October 6, 2010 shows the landscape where the city is now taking shape.

Abbas Momani / AFP

A construction worker in Rawabi on Feb. 24, 2014. Up to 10,000 jobs have been created during the city's construction phase, according to planners.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Apartments being built in Rawabi will vary in size from 1,000 square feet to 3,650 square feet. The different types of apartment advertized on the city's website have names like 'beech tree', 'marble' and 'crystal'.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

The cost of the apartments, depending on size and location, is expected to be between $75,000 and $140,000.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Construction workers at the site of the city's amphitheatre, which is being built to seat 20,000. Rawabi will also have a hotel, 3 cinemas, 8 schools, restaurants, shops, a church and several mosques, according to planners.

Oliver Weiken / EPA