Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Israeli Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz during a test drive of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv express train in central Israel on January 16, 2018.

Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced Monday that the launch of the high-speed express train set to run between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be delayed until Sukkot.

Katz told the Knesset State Control Committee that he is not prepared to compromise on safety issues, even at the cost of losing popularity.

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The train was originally intended to begin operation on the day before Passover.

“This line is one of the things I am proud of,” Katz said. “But the railway administration discussed the matter with the company operating the line, and with the police and they did not authorize the opening of the route due to safety concerns.”

The delay was first announced about two weeks ago by Israel Railway officials who said there was a holdup due to “regulatory approvals.”

The line is estimated to cut travel time from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv down to 28 minutes.

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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.