Israel’s USD 27-billion underline railway project many connect to Saudi Arabia in future

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched 'One Israel' project to connect the country's remote areas to Tel Aviv and possibly the Arabian Peninsula.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government is working underway on a railway project worth 100 billion shekels (27 billion dollars) that will connect to remote areas in Tel Aviv, and in future could provide overland links to Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

The announcement came after a visit by White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to the Kingdom on Thursday, July 27, to push for possible formal relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

During the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, July 30, Netanyahu said, “We are launching the ‘One Israel’ project – to link the entire country with a fast railway from Kiryat Shemona to Eilat.”

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It aims to reduce travel times to primary business and governmental areas to under two hours.

Netanyahu added that in the future, it would be possible to transport goods from Eilat to the Mediterranean Sea by rail and possibly extend the rail service to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials questioned the chances of reaching a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia due to Riyadh’s conditions on the Palestinian issue.

Reuters quoted a senior Israeli deputy as saying, “It is too early to talk about working on an agreement to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.”

However, Saudi Arabia stipulated, on more than one occasion, that it will not normalise until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

Since 2018, there has been talk in Israel about a plan to launch a railway linking the Persian Gulf, under the name “Tracks for Regional Peace”, in an attempt to build relations with the Gulf states, Times of Israel reported.

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