Vastavam web: Israel’s transportation minister is pushing ahead with a plan to extend Jerusalem’s soon-to- open high speed rail line to the Western Wall, where he wants to name a future station after President Donald Trump.Yisrael Katz’s plan, currently in the initial planning stage, involves constructing two underground stations and excavating over three kilometers of tunnel beneath downtown Jerusalem and under the politically and historically sensitive Old City.Katz’s office said in a statement that the minister advanced the plan in a recent meeting with Israel Railways executives, and has fast-tracked it in the planning committees.
Katz said a high speed rail station would allow visitors to reach “the beating heart of the Jewish people – the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.”The Western Wall train proposal will likely face opposition from the international community, which doesn’t recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem and the Old City, home to Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, as capital of a future state.
Digging railway tunnels to the Western Wall would also entail excavating in Jerusalem’s Old City, where religious and political sensitivities, as well as layers of archaeological remains from the city’s 3,000-year history, could prove a logistical and legal quagmire.”There’s no reason why this train won’t be built,” he said. “We already know how to deal with no less difficult opposition.”