Israel transport minister Katz plans to name a railway station after US president Donald Trump

Saturday, December 30, 2017

On Wednesday, Israeli transportation minister Yisrael Katz told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth he had decided to name a railway station "Donald John Trump Station" after the US president Donald Trump, which is to be built near the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a Jewish holy site.

"The Western Wall is the holiest site of the Jewish people and I have decided to name the train station leading to it after the president of the United States, Donald Trump, following his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel", Katz told Yedioth Ahronoth.

The idea of building an extra railway station near the Cardo region was recommended by a steering committee of Israel Railways, and Katz agreed for the proposal. Last year, Katz reportedly suggested the idea of extending the forthcoming high-speed rail line connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem's western entrance so that this line runs further to the Western Wall, in order to reduce travel time.

Currently, the project is in the initial stages of development. According to the actual scheme, the new railway tunnel is about three kilometres (about two miles) long and it is to run through downtown Jerusalem. It is to run beneath the city center via Modi'in and Ben-Gurion International Airport, have two underground stations, and pass close to many holy sites including Temple Mount and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. According to Avner Ovadia, a spokesman for the Israeli transport ministry, estimated cost for the extension is about 2.5 billion shekels (about £522 million; US$700m) and the project is expected to take four years to complete after approval.

Katz calls his idea of naming a railway station after Donald Trump for his "courageous and historic decision" to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Trump's decision to recoginze Jerusalem as Israel's capital was condemned internationally. Katz added visitors could see "the beating heart of the Jewish people: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount", and said the planned railway line extension was "most important national project in the transportation ministry".