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Jerusalem’s Light Rail Project Sparks Controversy

Jerusalem’s Light Rail Project Sparks Controversy

Sunday, 1 September, 2019 - 08:45
Pedestrians walk as a light rail tram passes by in Jerusalem November 11, 2014. (Reuters)
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Palestinian Authority (PA) asked the government of Spain to prevent a Spanish company from participating in constructing infrastructure on occupied territories.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) won a tender earlier this year to build a part of the Jerusalem tram project.

Sources at the Spanish international news agency, EFE, revealed that the PA vocally expressed its disapproval of the manufacturer taking part in the project, which will cut deep into occupied territory.

The tram is set to connect Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem to occupied territories in the West Bank.

In Jerusalem, where Israel has been occupying the eastern part since 1967, there is an already operational tram line in service since 2011, and which has already sparked controversy for linking Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem.

The new project will include the construction of 114 new trams and the rehabilitation of 46 units that are currently operational.

However, Palestinians are urging the Spanish company to withdraw from the project because of its impact on the occupied territories and warned that the continuation of this work may violate international law.

“Any attempt by any company to do business in the occupied territories would be violating international law,” former PA foreign minister Nasser al-Qudwa had said.

He clarified that if CAF does not rollback its participation it will be faced with multiple lawsuits.

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