The CityPass Jerusalem Light Rail service has already been restored to Shuafat, despite the best efforts of local Arabs — and their declared public vow — that it would ‘never’ run in the neighborhood again.
Following the murder of 16 year old Muhhamad Abu Khdeir, Jerusalem Arabs went on an extended rampage, with three of the Light Rail stops being the first target of their rage. But it turns out the CityPass Jerusalem Light Rail service wasn’t just trashed by rioters in the Arab Shuafat neighborhood, it was systematically destroyed.
Arab teams came in with jack hammers to reach the copper cable wire running by the tracks while other teams came with equipment to saw off massive electric poles as others brought in trucks to pour cement on tracks while fuel was poured on the tracks to burn off the rubber elements.
Discussion groups on the Internet speculated that it would take up to a year to restore service and that the service would run next to Shuafat rather than through the middle of the neighborhood.
Why the systematic destruction? One veteran Israeli reporter told the Independent Media Review & Analysis (IMRA) that Fatah was behind the move as they control the taxi service from Shuafat to the rest of the city and destroying the light rail was a move to restore a major source of income.
But it didn’t take a year to restore service.
This Sunday CityPass was already running their trains per the regular schedule.
CityPass COO Shay Eisenberg told IMRA that while the service is up and running there is a lot of work yet to be completed. Since the traffic lights in the neighborhood and communications were destroyed, the train “has to cross intersections like a car without a traffic light”. The two stations in Shuafat were completely destroyed so passengers board in a makeshift arrangement.
Based on what Eisenberg says, it appears that Fatah’s coffers are not going to benefit from their assault on Jerusalem light rail services.