Israel’s Transportation Ministry advanced plans on Monday to build a new train station that would directly connect Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The project, an extension of recently opened Jerusalem-Tel Aviv high-speed line, will include a new 1.8 mile-long tunnel under downtown Jerusalem and the Old City, i24news reported.
This kind of construction in the Old City of Jerusalem is controversial. Palestinians object to Israel gaining more of a foothold in the city that they claim as the capital of a future Palestinian state, and archeologists object to the possible disturbing of artifacts in the area.
The project was initiated by former Transportation Minister Israel Katz, who now serves as foreign minister. The current transportation minister is Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home Party, who is running for the next Israeli parliament as part of the far-right Yamina alliance.In addition, it was announced Tuesday, that certain trains that run from Beersheba through Lod to Tel Aviv will resume operation, including on motzei Shabbat and weeknights, according to Channel 12. The trains had ceased operating due to construction.Jerusalem post staff contributed to this article.