Israel to build its first light rail connection to West Bank settlements

Shaviro said that a train would help cement Ariel’s place as the capital of Samaria.

By
March 15, 2018 22:32
1 minute read.
Israel to build its first light rail connection to West Bank settlements

The Jerusalem light rail. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Transportation Ministry plans to build its first light rail in the West Bank, linking the central Israeli cities of Petah Tikva and Rosh Ha’ayin with the Ariel settlement.

“This is good news for the continued development of the city of Ariel. It has over 20,000 residents, an industrial park and a university with 15,000 students,” said the city’s mayor, Eli Shaviro.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


And there are thousands of people in communities around Ariel that consider it their central city, he said.

Ariel is considered a settlement bloc – but its location deep in Samaria, some 16 kilometers over the Green Line, has given it a tenuous status on the international stage.

Under prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, the city received very few construction authorizations. Since 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has significantly increased those permits, with more construction approvals occurring there than in some of the other three larger cities of Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit and Ma’aleh Adumim.

Shaviro said that a train would help cement Ariel’s place as the capital of Samaria.

Transpiration Minister Israel Katz has long envisioned a train in Judea and Samaria.



On Thursday he gave his approval to the overall idea of the project. But planning is still in its infancy, with three alternatives on the table for the route of between 29 and 35 kilometers.

One of them also includes stops in the Barkan Industrial Park and the Elkana settlements as well as in the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kassem.

No budget has been set for the project.

The move is part of a series of steps by right-wing politicians to normalize life for the 400,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, by erasing the Green Line and improving the link between the settlements and the rest of the country.

“I want to thank Minister Israel Katz and his team for working together to establish and promote the city as the capital of Samaria,” Shaviro said.

Related Content

Soldiers gather around car crash site in Havat Gilad, 2018
August 17, 2018
Israeli woman killed in hit-and-run near Havat Gilad outpost

By TOVAH LAZAROFF