Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz has announced an historic plan at a news conference in Jerusalem to create a link to the Mediterranean Sea for select Arab nations through the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod, Reuters reported.
The plan was presented at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month to U.S. international negotiator and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt when he was in the region visiting Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Under the plan, “Tracks for Peace,” the land link from Haifa to Beit She’an would involve travel by rail moving south to Jenin for a connection to the Palestinian Authority, and east to the border crossing with Jordan, where more tracks would be laid to take the line to Irbid. From there, vendors would be able to connect with existing lines, and those yet to be planned for a north-south route in Jordan, into Saudi Arabia, and further east towards the Persian Gulf.
Israel — strategically located at the apex of three continents — is a logical land bridge already in use by Turkey. From a security standpoint, such a strategy would relieve shippers of the need to depend solely on the Strait of Hormuz, where goods now borne via the waterway and through the Red Sea could instead be taken overland straight to port by railway, while simultaneously boosting the Jordanian and Palestinian Authority economies.