Israel’s minister of transportation wants to name a new train station set to be built in the next few years in Jerusalem after President Trump.
And it’s not just any station. If all goes according to plan, the station will sit close to the Western Wall and ferry the faithful — and about 11 million tourists a year — to one of Judaism’s holiest sites in the disputed Old City.
The transportation minister, Israel Katz, said Wednesday that the naming of the station was a gesture to a U.S. president who had made a “courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.”
On Dec. 6, Trump said he was officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing a longtime U.S. policy and challenging a global consensus to leave the status of Jerusalem ambiguous until the final phase of any future peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
Foreign embassies and most other diplomatic missions, including the U.S. Embassy, are based in Tel Aviv. But Trump’s decision could clear the way for the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
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Trump said that his announcement marked “the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians” and that he was simply recognizing reality, “nothing more or less.”
But the move has prompted weeks of protest in Arab and Muslim countries around the world and numerous “days of rage” in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank. At least 12 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli security forces, including two militants in an Israeli airstrike that came as response to rockets fired from Gaza at civilian areas in southern Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said the United States can no longer be a fair broker in the peace process. Last week, in an emergency session at the United Nations General Assembly, 128 countries backed a resolution condemning the new U.S. position.
The train line planned by Katz is an extension of a new high-speed rail link set to open next year connecting Jerusalem to Israel’s commercial center in Tel Aviv and the country’s airport nearby.
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project.
He is a freelance consultant passionate about tech, programming, games and entertainment.