Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/FLASH90
A cargo freight seen driving through Israel's Hefer Valley. June 24, 2013.

A small group of activists are protesting government plans to build a railway line to Eilat.

A group of nearly two dozen youth and young adults marched from Dimona to the Red Sea resort city at the tip of the Negev this weekend to protest the plans.

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The protesters and other naturalists are fighting the plan because they fear the railway will destroy the delicate ecosystem that exists in the area. Current plans call for the route to pass through 37 kilometers of nature reserves.

Critics also say that construction on the line may endanger coral reefs in the Red Sea off the southern coast in the Gulf of Aqaba near Eilat.

The plan, approved about nine months ago, is intended to creating a “land bridge” between Europe and Asia. It is aimed at bypassing the Suez Canal in order to ensure that Israeli and international shippers will have an alternative shipping route should the Egyptians ever again decide to close that artery.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The protests could possibly help to ensure that proper care is taken to ensure there is no permanent damage but must not be allowed to torpedo the whole project. It would help to ease the strain on the roads through transport of goods (especially cars) being transported from Eilat to Haifa to circumvent the Suez canal. Even if the canal is not closed by Egypt transport through Israel is apparently more profitable through Israel and this would be even more so when the rail link is completed

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