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.
‘The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump – following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,’ Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told the Jerusalem Post.
The national daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth was first to report Tuesday that Katz had approved final construction plans for the train, which will include excavating a 2-mile tunnel from the Umma (nation) station at the entrance to the city to the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter.
The route will take travelers through downtown Jerusalem and under the politically and historically sensitive Old City. The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said Wednesday the project is estimated to cost more than $700 million and, if approved, would take four years to complete.
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.
Trump’s announcement acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – and his pledge to move America’s embassy there – enraged Palestinians and much of the Muslim world.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution last week rejecting the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with several traditional American allies voting in favor of the motion.
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.
Despite the likely opposition to the project, Ovadia said he expects the plans to be approved in the coming year, barring major complications. The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed line is expected to open next spring.
‘There’s no reason why this train won’t be built,’ he said. ‘We already know how to deal with no less difficult opposition.’
Katz has previously proposed other ambitious infrastructure projects, including an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip that would serve as an air and seaport for the Palestinian territory, and a railway connecting Israel with Saudi Arabia.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, David Martosko; The Associated Press
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If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, here’s how you can do so today and have a home in Heaven when you die:
- First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
- Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
- Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
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