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Israeli Official Proposes to Name a Future Jerusalem Railway Station After Trump

  • VOA News

FILE - A view of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, some of the holiest sites for for Jews and Muslims, is seen in Jerusalem's Old City, Dec. 6, 2017.

Israel's transportation minister has proposed naming a future railway station near Jerusalem's sacred Western Wall after President Donald Trump following the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The plan, which minister Yisrael Katz advanced at a recent meeting with Israel Railway executives, calls for an extension of Jerusalem's soon-to-open high-speed rail line to the Western Wall and the construction of a new station.

Katz proposed naming the station after Trump "for his brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews can pray and the third holiest site in Islam.

The proposal is likely to draw opposition from the international community, which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, an area within modern Jerusalem. The eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, was seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967.

The Palestinians want Jerusalem and the Old City, where Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites are located, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

And digging tunnels to the Western Wall would involve excavating near archaeological remains, leading to possible legal and logistical problems.

Despite likely opposition to the project, Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said if there are not any major complications, he expects the plan to be approved next year.

Trump's decision on Jerusalem has sparked outrage from Palestinians and much of the global Muslim community. Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting Trump's recognition of Israel.

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