City Notes: Two tunnels completed for Acre-Karmiel railway

Transportation Minister Israel Katz: “The railway lines that will open due to the new tracks will encourage residency and tourism in the Galilee, and will provide a real contribution to strengthening livelihoods.”

A group of pupils from Eilat pose after winning the Rookie All-Star prize at the First Robotics competition in St. Louis last week. (photo credit: Courtesy)
A group of pupils from Eilat pose after winning the Rookie All-Star prize at the First Robotics competition in St. Louis last week.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The building of two new tunnels connecting Acre to Karmiel was completed last week, constituting a 4.6 km route that connects the east and west sides of Mount Gilon. In three years’ time, the tunnels will be used for the railway line between Karmiel, Haifa and the center of the country. The tunnels are part of a project of the Netivei Israel company to establish a 23-km. route that will connect Karmiel to the coastal railway line in Acre.
“The railway lines that will open due to the new tracks will encourage residency and tourism in the Galilee, and will provide a real contribution to strengthening livelihoods,” Transportation Minister Israel Katz said. “The State of Israel’s new railway network positively affects many areas in the Galilee and the Negev. The Israeli government’s determination and facts on the ground are a message to entrepreneurs: Now is the time to invest in the periphery.”
Architect Shai Beres, CEO of Netivei Israel, which was made responsible in 2010 for the construction of the railway line to Karmiel, said that the company is simultaneously working on extending the line to Kiryat Shmona. He added that in order to create a track that would be suitable for a train traveling at a speed of 160 kph, they are moving roads, building new bridges over the Ne’eman River and diverting the Hilazon River.
“At the end of the project, we will return to the land thousands of cyclamen tubers and other plant species, which are being preserved during this time by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority,” he said.
The manager of the Acre-Karmiel railway project, Itamar Galil, said that the project is sticking to both the schedule and the budget, which amounts to NIS 2.8 billion. In the next stage of the project, construction will begin on the tunnels’ infrastructure system. Each tunnel is 4,625 meters long and they are connected by 18 connector tunnels. The tunnels are being built through an Israeli-Chinese partnership between the companies Danya Cebus and CCECC.
School walls vandalized with ‘Death to Arabs’ in Acre
The walls of a school in a neighborhood in east Acre were defaced with the words “Death to Arabs” on Sunday morning, according to police.
Police said that there had also been an attempt to burn the flagpole at the school. An investigation was launched into the incident.
Ra’anana makes switch from human to digital guards at kindergartens
The Ra’anana municipality decided last week to stop employing security guards at the entrances to municipal kindergartens. Israel Radio reported that the municipality decided instead to use digital control systems and will increase the city’s security patrols around the kindergartens.
Hundreds hold alternative ‘Memories@home’ Holocaust ceremonies
Hundreds of homes around Israel and around the world hosted Holocaust Remembrance Day events as part of an initiative called “Memories@home.” The program was founded four years ago by a group of friends, mainly university students, who felt increasingly disconnected from the official state ceremonies and were looking for an alternative way to commemorate the Holocaust. The evening comprises a conversation with a Holocaust survivor, who comes to the host’s residence to share their story, an artistic/creative segment in which guests may read a poem, play a song, tell a story, show a film, etc., and an open discussion in which guests share their thoughts and feelings.
One of the project’s initiators, Shani Brusilovsky, explains: “We set up Memories@home so that remembering the Holocaust, for us, will be more than standing to attention once a year – but also an inwards look, a look in the mirror, to think about where in the relationships between us and other people, we can be more tolerant or more pluralistic.”
Nadav Ambon, another of the project’s initiators, added: “We believe that in order to remember the Holocaust it’s important first of all to listen to those who were there and survived to tell the tale. We also believe that in order to deal with the Holocaust in a way that is appropriate to 2014, we must first free the issues from the frameworks and the formalities, which for years have distanced many people from any desire to engage with it.”
He said the program aimed to give “the freedom to express our memories in any way we want – through discussion, poetry. Each [person] in his own special way expresses his or her memory of the Holocaust. As long as we are together, in the lounge, and we talk about it, the memories will come.”
For more information on the project, visit
Man found dead in Negev in suspected hit-and-run
A man in his twenties was found dead on the side of the road on Route 25 between Nevatim and Beersheba on Monday morning. Paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. Police launched an investigation into the incident, which is suspected to be a hit-and-run.
Eilat robotics team heads home victorious from St. Louis competition
Eilat’s robotics team Emperius 5291 headed back to Israel from the US this week, proudly carrying the Rookie All-Star prize given for the best debut of a young robotics team at the international First Robotics Competition, held in St. Louis last week.
The judges said of the team: “Today we met a new star in the competition. They may be new to the competition, but they’ve certainly ‘got it!’” The judges said that although the team members were young and new to the competition, they made their mark, and particularly made an impact within the community, meeting with officials and visiting old-age homes and children’s hospitals. “We’re sure that all of southern Israel is proud of them,” the judges said.
The Rookie All-Star Award is given to new groups which are competing in the contest for the first time. Over 12,000 pupils, aged six to 18, traveled to St. Louis from all over the world to come together for the three-day-event, bringing with them custom-built robots.
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi received news of the team’s triumph from school principal Efrat Zachs, and said he was excited but not surprised. He said he had always believed in the abilities of the children and the staff guiding them. Sixteen pupils took part in the competition, along with four mentors.