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PA refuses participation in Israel-Arab railway

February 16, 2019 at 1:31 pm

This picture taken on September 25, 2018 on the outskirts of Jerusalem shows a new high speed train travelling between Jerusalem and Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport with the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa in the background [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has refused to participate in an Israeli project which will see a railway connect Israel to Arab states.

The PA Minister of Civil Affairs and Member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said yesterday that the PA has refused to join the project, Al-Wattan Voice reported. “We refused this completely,” Al-Sheikh wrote on his Facebook page. “No to normalising ties with Israel and no to economic solutions which reinforce the occupation,” he added, stressing that a “crumb of bread is not an alternative for a free country”.

Israeli reports have recently noted progress in the project, which became known as the Railway of Peace, after the visit of the Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz to Oman in November.

The railway aims to connect Israel with Jordan and the Gulf States in order to “achieve peace and economic cooperation”, according to Katz, who has called for affording the budget for the project. The Palestinians, however, have lambasted the idea, seeing it as part of the Gulf’s increasing willingness to ignore their cause in order to further normalise ties with Israel.

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