Sources close to the cable car project have informed us that on December 13, 2017, the project director of the proposed Jerusalem Old City cable car project, Avigdor Yitzhaki (formerly director general of the Prime Minister’s office) convened a forum called the Congress, which is statutory body that is key in the fast-tracking of the planning process for national infrastructures. This is a clear indication that the government and municipality intend to proceed in earnest, and rapidly, towards the implementation of the scheme.
Until now, Israeli authorities have only spoken about implementing one section in the cable car line, leading from Abu Tor to the settler-controlled Kedem Complex opposite the Dung Gate, with a station mid-way between the two, on Mount Zion. In the December meeting, Yitzhaki made it clear that this was only the first stage, and that additional segments are coming up: one from the Kedem Complex to the Mount of Olives, one from the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane, and the final segment passing over Silwan to the Pool of Siloam. Below is a photo of the planned routes, as presented to the Congress (click here to view/download pic).
In addition, on or about January 14, 2018, sources who have visited the site have informed us that the Jerusalem Development Authority commenced construction of a foot bridge over the Hinnom Valley between Abu Tor and Mount Zion. Where the planning for the cable car is being fast tracked, this JDA project is being so fast-tracked as to be illegal: there is no statutory plan, nor has a building permit been issued.
There are common denominators to both schemes. Each wreaks havoc with one of the planet’s most cherished skylines, the visual basin around the Old City. Each is being done in collusion with the settlers of East Jerusalem. Finally, each scheme involves circumventing the normal planning procedures that customarily give the public ample opportunity to object to the plans - yet another example of how the ends invariably justify the means in matters related to the settlers’ schemes, and that adherence to the law is less than scrupulous.