Israel Proposes USD 27 Billion Rail Expansion, Eyes Future Link To Saudi Arabia


As per Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel will construct a 100 billion shekel ($27 billion) train expansion that will link its rural districts to metropolitan Tel Aviv and may eventually offer overland connections to Saudi Arabia. The declaration came after top American officials visited Saudi Arabia last week to promote the establishment of potential formal ties between the Muslim superpower and Israel.

Netanyahu appeared to avoid addressing the constitutional crisis that has plagued Israel for seven months, damaging its economy and causing Western friends to lose faith in the country's democratic stability as he opened the weekly cabinet meeting. The "One Israel Project," which he claimed as being intended to shorten travel time by rail to the nation's commercial and government centers to two hours or less, was among the infrastructure projects he advocated instead.

Although little progress has been made, the initiative is essentially a resuscitation of a notion that has been championed for years. A similar multibillion shekel project for a national network was approved by the government in 2010, however it was unsuccessful.

"I would like to add that in the future we will also be able to transport cargo by rail from Eilat to our Mediterranean, and will also be able to link Israel by train to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian peninsula," he said in televised remarks.

"On this, too, we are working."

The plan, according to Israel's finance minister, was to complete the high-speed, north-south rail link within the next ten years.

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