Photo Credit: Yishai Fleisher
Dung Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem

A three-judge panel in Israel’s Supreme Court has unanimously rejected an appeal by Arab residents in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan (Shiloach) and Israeli cultural and environmental groups who oppose a plan to build a cable car that would bring visitors to the Old City from western Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

The court said proper planning procedures had been followed in creating the proposal.

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Hagit Ofran of the far-left Peace Now organization said in a tweet, “What’s left now is the public struggle to stop this insane project.”

Under the plan approved in 2019, a cable car would bring some 3,000 worshipers and tourists per hour in a four-minute ride to a site near the Dung Gate entrance to the Old City, near the Western Wall.

The government said the plan would increase tourism to sites in the Old City that are sacred to all three major religions and is intended to relieve the intensely heavy traffic in the area.

But a coalition of groups opposing the project contend that such a cable car route would destroy historic vistas and carry heavy cable cars just a few meters above the homes of Arab residents, while hurting Arab merchants in the Old City by rerouting tourist traffic.

It’s not clear why the latter claim would be valid, since many Arab merchants in the area are located within the Old City market itself, inside the ancient walls.

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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.