The rail line will likely face opposition from Palestinians.

Yisrael Katz, the Israeli Minister of Transportation, is going ahead with ambitious plans to dig an underground railway tunnel beneath the surface of Jerusalem’s Old City. If constructed, the train will run under sites considered holy to all the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The line will terminate at the Western Wall. Katz has proposed the last station of the line to be named after US President Donald J. Trump.

The Katz proposal is at present in the planning stage. It involves the construction of a total of two underground stations. The tunnel length will be about three kilometers. Workers will have to burrow 50 meters underneath the surface. The Old City and central Jerusalem will be located above the tunnel route. The Trump station will be located near “Cardo”, the Jewish quarter. The station is going to come up in the middle of one of the holiest sites in the world. The site was once an ancient thoroughfare. Avner Ovadia, the transport ministry spokesperson, said the estimated cost of this venture will be about $700 million. If the plan is approved, the trains can start operations from the fifth year.

The present Jerusalem main station is located in the city’s suburbs. The old station, which can be found in the downtown area of the ancient metropolis, has long been out of use. It is now converted into a thriving area of restaurants and bars. This Tel Aviv to Jerusalem rail project is anticipated to have an expense outlay of $1.8 billion. The travel time after completion will be cut to 28 minutes. It presently takes about 78 minutes to traverse the distance. The existing line was constructed during Ottoman Empire times.

Palestinians are angry at Trump’s announcement of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. The US recognition was rejected by the United Nations General Assembly as well. Many US allies had also voted against American proposal. The Palestinians want the Old City and East Jerusalem to be the capital city of Palestine. This is the reason the train line connecting the Western Wall is opposed by the rest of the world. The international community does not recognize the sovereignty of Israel over the Old City and East Jerusalem. The territory was captured during the 1967 war. It was not given back to Palestine and annexed.

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