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’Israel’ continues judaizing activities: Railway to connect all WB ‘settlements’

(Apartheid wall-Palestine, file photo)

(Apartheid wall-Palestine, file photo)

Al Ahed news

“Israel” revealed plans for a sprawling railway system across occupied Palestinian territories, a move which has been rejected by the Palestinian Authority.

According to “Israeli” newspaper “Haaretz”, the “grandiose” plan includes 473 kilometers of rail, 30 stations on 11 lines and dozens of bridges and tunnels in order to connect all West Bank settlements.

The planned rail network – which could cost at least $27.8 billion according to media reports – would connect major Palestinian cities in the West Bank with the Gaza Strip and “Israeli” settlements beyond the Green Line. The trains would also link to border crossings into Jordan and Syria, The Times of “Israel” daily wrote, disregarding existing political demarcation lines.

The PA has officially refused to cooperate with the so-called “Israel’s” “civil administration” regarding the plan.

“The West Bank and Gaza are, by international law, occupied territories,” Salman Abu Sitta, a Palestinian researcher and author of the Atlas of Palestine.

“Any action by the occupying power is not allowed there, therefore this plan is expropriation of Palestinian land.”

“In normal circumstances, railways are a good thing, but this is a war crime under the Rome Statute,” just like the apartheid wall, Abu Sitta added.

Following the PA’s repeated refusal to collaborate on the project, “Israel” decided to proceed without Palestinian input and publicize the plan. “Israeli” officials said the railway initiative will be open for comments and objections from the public before its final validation.

Should the railway plan materialize, the trains could facilitate movement of “Israeli” troops and settlers across the West Bank, Abu Sitta noted.

“They “Israelis” always say that, just like they claim settlements are good for Palestinians,” he said. “But the good of the Palestinians is to be decided by the Palestinians themselves and their democratically elected government.”

“Israeli” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told “The Times of “Israel”” that the high cost of the plan meant that “there is no intention to advance the plan to the implementation stage at this time.”

“This is just on paper. It’s not going to be built for years,” Katz said, adding that construction in areas A and B of the West Bank could not take place without approval from the Palestinian Authority.

Even if funds for the costly project do not materialize, “the mere existence of the plan means that any construction program from now on will have to take the theoretical railway lines into account,” “Haaretz” wrote.

For Abu Sitta, the possibility that land would be reserved for the railway network, intentionally blocking future Palestinian construction in those areas, is a plausible theory.

“We have a long record of such deception,” he said.


One response to “’Israel’ continues judaizing activities: Railway to connect all WB ‘settlements’

  1. Pingback: On The Future of Palestine |

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