Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Railway proposal to connect Haifa to Saudi and UAE announced

By Patty Diphusa - July 31, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [al-Aqsa]


Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed details of a railway project that will connect the port of Haifa to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

The plan had been first unveiled in July by Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz in a visit to the UAE as a way to “promote regional peace” and a route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Gulf that would foster trade and improve local economies. 

The plan intends to use Israel as a land bridge and Jordan as a transportation hub. The Israeli Foreing Ministry stated that “it will create shorter, faster, cheaper and safer regional trade routes and will contribute to the strengthening of the Jordanian, Palestinian, Saudi, Gulf and even the Iraqi economies in the future.”

The Palestinian Authority had already rejected the initiative in February this year saying “no to normalising ties with Israel and no to economic solutions which reinforce the occupation”.

During the same week of the railway announcement, Saudi blogger Mohammad Saud made a visit to Israel and occupied East Jerusalem sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. 

Saud was part of a delegation of six journalists from the UAE, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt who met with members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and visited the Holocaust Museum. 

On the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba and founding of Israel, Saud posted a video where he features sating “I love Israel”. 

In a video of his visit to the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, Saud was met with outcries such as “go pray in the Knesset”, “traitor” and “Zionist”. 

As the blogger was driven out of the Al-Aqsa compound, a Palestinian child spat at his face telling him “all the children of Palestine spit on you”. In the aftermath, nine Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces, two of which were journalists and two Al-Aqsa guards.

Middle East Eye has expressed that although Saudi Arabia does not officially recognise Israel, the “two countries' governments have become increasingly close in recent years, often citing their shared foe Iran as a cause”.



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