Top Israeli Official Wants to Build ‘Trump Station’ Near Western Wall
A top Israeli official wants to name a train station after Donald Trump to thank him for recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, but the site of the planned building could be as divisive as the US president’s recent declaration.
In a statement on Wednesday, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz referred to a proposed rail stop near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“I have decided to name the Western Wall station … after US President Donald Trump for his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Katz said.
The envisaged underground extension of a high-speed rail link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is still on the drawing board and a Transportation Ministry spokeswoman said other departments had yet to approve it.
The announcement was quickly condemned by Palestinian leaders already angered by Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to overturn decades of American policy on the holy city.
“The Israeli extremist government is trying to race against time to impose facts on the ground in the city of Jerusalem,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, told Reuters.
The Transportation Ministry spokeswoman said the proposed station and underground extension still required the approval of various governmental planning committees, and gave no date for when a final go-ahead might be given. She said she did not know where funds for the estimated $700-million rail add-on would come from.