Israel is moving forward with plans to extend express train service from Tel Aviv to the Western Wall, naming the station after US President Donald Trump for his recognition of Jerusalem as the nation's capital.
Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz approved the Israel Railways' Steering Committee's planned 2.5 billion shekel (more than $700 million) project, which would bring passengers within close walking distance of one of Judaism's most venerated sites, YNet 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 on Tuesday.
The plan, which includes an underground tunnel, will allow passengers to travel from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport to the Western Wall, with stops in the city of Modi'in and a second new station to be built near Jerusalem's International Convention Center.
The Western Wall station will be the last stop on express train service from Tel Aviv to the city's capital. The plan includes a VIP car for international diplomats arriving at Ben Gurion.
As with all construction or building projects, the Israel Antiquities Authority will conduct a pre-construction excavation, especially crucial because of the proximity to the Temple Mount.
There will undoubtedly be opposition from those who oppose the Trump administration's affirmation of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital and the president's plan to move the US embassy there. More than 10 countries are reportedly contemplating the same for their embassies.
With the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line slated for completion this spring, planning committees will fast track the project, the Transportation Ministry said in a statement released Tuesday.