At the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a $270 million plan to build a rail link between the northern city of Kiryat Shmona, which is close to the Lebanese border, to the far-south Red Sea resort of Eilat.
Every Israeli citizen should be able to get to or from the center from any location in the nation in under two hours, according to his vision. According to Israeli media, “in most cases under an hour, and even less than that.”
The line will enable the quick transportation of cargo from the Eilat port to ports on the Mediterranean, in addition to carrying people over the roughly 400-kilometer trip, according to the prime minister.
He made a connection between that initiative and the possibilities for an Israeli-Saudi normalisation agreement, which is anticipated to be a component of any agreement currently being discussed between Riyadh and Washington, according to The Jerusalem Post.
In the future, we will be able to connect Israel to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula by train, as well as move cargoes of commodities from Eilat to our ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Netanyahu rekindled Hejazi-line aspirations by saying, “We are also working on that.
Where the project’s funding will come from is not yet known. The Israeli Transportation Ministry has agreed to provide $54 million over the next two years for designing the route, which is planned to include a bullet-train portion through the Negev desert, according to the Ynet news website.
The declaration comes almost 10 years to the day after a government led by Benjamin Netanyahu approved a train line connecting Israel’s capital with Eilat. This was only the most recent in a string of such choices that all fell through once it came time to actually build the thing.
The ambiguously Chinese-funded project was criticized at the time for being expensive and destructive to the environment. According to the Times of Israel, it also didn’t actually connect the port in Eilat with the one in Ashdod.