Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday ruled in favor of the Israeli government planned funicular above the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The ruling has been met with excitement by proponents such as Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, who: claimed the project would, “rreduce air pollution in the area, solve transportation and parking problems and allow comfortable and efficient access to the Western Wall and the Old City.” However, the project has also been condemned by many groups, including: urban planners and architects, Palestinian activist groups, Karaite Jews (a minority sect with a cemetery along the path of the proposed funicular), and environmental movements†
Palestinian groups have criticized the proposed path because it would involve East Jerusalem, an area originally granted to the Palestinians in 1949 before it was occupied by Israel in 1967 in the Arab-Israeli war. Ir-Amim, a pro-Palestinian group, has declared †[f]olks jumping in WJ [West Jerusalem] and have no idea they are laying cables over the heads of occupied Palestinians.”
Ir-Amim also has so-called the cable car project is at least partially funded by the Elad . Foundation (also called the Ir David Foundation). The Elad Foundation has funded controversial settlements in Silwan, a primarily Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, using a property rights concept called Absent property rights† Elad has been attached to Russian Oligarch, Roman Abramovich, in a leak of banking documents called the FinCEN files.
The Jerusalem Municipality has responded to criticism of the project, stating†
The funicular… will carry 3,000 passengers per hour in each direction at a speed of 21 km/h. This major infrastructure project, like no other in the world, will raise the level of public transport services, make it more efficient and less crowded for one of the most trafficked areas of the capital, and make the ancient city’s religious and historic sites accessible to people with disabilities. an intellectual disability. Disabilities… It is a green and environmentally friendly means of transport that will reduce the noise, air pollution and traffic of public and private vehicles and preserve the special topography of the southern basin of the old city.
Efforts to stop the plan are expected to continue with groups such as: Emek Shavehan archaeological non-profit organization, which runs social media campaigns that continue to criticize the plan, and a coalition of several organizations opposing the plan to Policy document†