Yerushalayim Cable Car Gets Off the Ground

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli government announced on Sunday the approval of a plan to build a cable car route from western Yerushalayim to the Old City, including the Kosel.

The project has until now been bogged down in controversy due to the route which goes through east Yerushalayim, near Har Habayis and Christian sites. Two years ago, the French company Safege dropped out of a similar plan after the French treasury and Foreign Ministry warned the company of diplomatic consequences, according to Haaretz.

“The cable car project will change the face of Jerusalem, offering tourists and visitors easy and comfortable access to the Western Wall, and will serve as an outstanding tourist attraction in its own right,” Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said on Sunday, timing the statement to coincide with the U.S. Embassy move and Yom Yerushalayim.

The line, which is to run for almost a mile and cost an estimated 200 million shekels ($56 million), is scheduled to open by 2021.

The planned route will extend from the First Station compound in the German Colony, and pass through historic sites including Har Zeisim, before arriving at the Dung Gate of the Old City. Its four stations include Har Tzion and the Kedem Visitor Center in the east Yerushalayim neighborhood of Silwan.

The project was proposed by MK Yariv Levin.