Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported, on Monday morning, that the Israeli government has formulated a plan for a train that will run from the cities of Lod, north of Israel, and Jerusalem to the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Analysts in Israel believe that the line is expected to rouse controversy since it will provide the Arab public with direct route from the center of Israel to Jerusalem and Ramallah, Yedioth Ahronoth added.
A senior Likud member was quoted describing this plan as “insane” since it is linking Ramallah with Arab populated centers in Jerusalem and Israel.
The current plan is said to be in its advanced stages; a document prepared by the Israeli government describing the program states that it has been approved on condition that it meets several technical terms such as evaluating the ecological effects; a report regarding this issue is to be made by the Ministry of Environment.
Israeli Environment Minister, Shalom Simhon, reported that his office instructed his department to conduct such an evaluation in order to examine the possible effects of the planned line, such as radiation, ground and water pollution.
Also, a source at the Israeli government reported that private Palestinian lands cannot be expropriated for the construction of a transportation route unless it was proven that it will serve the Palestinian population too.
“This line that is scheduled to be constructed to link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, does not serve the Palestinians”, the source stated, “In light of this fact, it is impossible to expropriate lands in Biet Surik, Latrun on the way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem”.
The official added that once the government establishes the line to run to Ramallah, then Israel can “expropriate the land”.