Israel Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced Wednesday his plans to name a new train station near the Western Wall after President Donald Trump, the Daily Caller reported.
“The Kotel [Western Wall] is the holiest place to the Jewish people, and I have decided to name the train station leading to it after US President Donald Trump, in recognition of his brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Katz said, according to Ynetnews in Israel, referring to Trump’s recent decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
What’s the story?
If the railway project is approved and built, it would be a two-mile extension of the soon-to-be-opened high-speed railway that runs between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the Jewish Press reported. It would include two underground train stations including the City Center station and the Donald John Trump, Western Wall station near the Cardo in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter.
The high-speed railway project connecting the two cities has faced numerous delays and has been under construction since 2001.
What’s the approval process for the project?
The new project Tuesday received preliminary approval Tuesday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“This project is now awaiting a discussion in the National Infrastructures Planning Committee,” Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia told the Post. “When it is discussed there, it means that it receives priority in its advancement and in carrying out the project.”
It could take up to a year for final approval and at least four or five years to construct, barring any delays, Ovadia said.
Why did Trump decide to move the embassy to Jerusalem?
In 1995, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed a law ordering the U.S. Embassy to relocate to Jerusalem, but each president since has delayed the mandate stating that relocations should come through negotiations rather than a law.
Earlier this month, Trump announced his decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Last week, the United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 to disavow Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling his move “null and void.” However, the vote has no official impact on the matter.
In May, Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall during his visit to the Middle East.