Israel approves controversial Jerusalem cable car project

Israelis celebrating Jerusalem Day at the Old City's Damascus gate on May 13, 2018. Israel has approved a cable car project that would link the Old City with West Jerusalem.
Israelis celebrating Jerusalem Day at the Old City's Damascus gate on May 13, 2018. Israel has approved a cable car project that would link the Old City with West Jerusalem.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel's government on Sunday (May 13) gave the green light to a controversial cable car project planned to run between West Jerusalem and the Old City in annexed east Jerusalem.

The decision came on the eve of the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state but Israel has declared the whole of the city as its undivided capital.

"The cable car project will change the face of Jerusalem, offering tourists and visitors easy and comfortable access to the Western Wall," Israel's Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.

The Western Wall is one of the holiest sites in Judaism and lies in east Jerusalem - home to Christian and Muslim holy shrines.

The 1.4km-long line (around 1 mile) will cost US$56 million (S$75 million) and is planned to be up and running by 2021.