Old City Cable Car Gets Knesset Green Light

YERUSHALAYIM -

A Knesset committee gave preliminary approval on Monday to a controversial plan for a cable car in the Old City of Yerushalayim.

The Tourism Ministry-backed plan has been met at every step of the way by the concerted opposition of local residents, archaeologists, tour guides, NGOs, environmentalists and city planners.

They argue that the project will be a cultural and political disaster, and far from solving traffic problems, it will merely shift gridlock to other parts of the city.

Undeterred by the criticism, the Knesset Infrastructure Committee announced its decision, saying that “the plan offers a real solution to the problems of difficult access to the southeastern part of the Old City.”

The NIS 200 million ($55.2 million) plan calls for a 1.4-kilometer (nearly a mile) track running from the First Station shopping area over a valley mainly populated by eastern Yerushalayim Palestinians to the Old City’s Dung Gate, near the Kosel.

Proponents of the cable car contend it will be a boon to tourism.

The project still requires further authorizations before construction can begin.