Israel Railways attempts to ban green reps from Jerusalem train discussion

Israel Railways has attempted to get the representatives of green groups and the Environmental Protection and Agriculture Ministries banned from a National Building and Planning Council meeting next week on the route of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high speed rail line. The green groups and ministries have been urging changes to the line to avoid despoiling the Judean Hills nature reserves particularly around the Yitla Stream. Israel Railways lawyers sent a request to Council head Gavriel Mimun on Tuesday asking, among other things, that representatives of the Nature and Parks Authority, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), the JNF, and the two ministries be barred from the meeting. SPNI and the Agriculture Ministry scoffed at the company's "ridiculous" request and urged Mimun to reject it.