The Israeli Supreme Court postpones its decision regarding the cable car project in East Jerusalem

Jerusalem24 – Yesterday, Sunday, the Israeli Supreme Court postponed the issuance of its final decision regarding the cable car project, which the occupation government intends to establish over the lands of Silwan, specifically in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, all the way to the Dung Gate in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center quoted lawyer Sami Irsheed as saying: “After a lengthy hearing for the parties, and for the petition that we submitted on behalf of the people of Silwan and the merchants of the Old City regarding the cable car project, the judges of the Supreme Court decided that the allegations were insufficient to issue a final decision on the project.” adding that the court judges also listened to the occupation municipality, the ministries of transportation and tourism, and other ministries of the Israeli occupation.

The Public Prosecution demanded the Occupation Court to submit an additional pleading within 21 days, and then to present an explicit position from the Israeli Ministry of Transportation regarding the project. Irsheed explained that after submitting the pleading, they have the right to respond to the situation, and then the court will take its decision either by issuing the final ruling, or by holding another session in this case.

Ahead of the session, the Transportation Ministry said it opposed the plan. In a statement Friday, the ministry led by Labor’s Merav Michaeli said: “Our position is that the cable car has no significant transportation role, and the harm [it causes] will exceed the benefits.” It noted the “great sensitivity to the harm the project will cause to the landscape.”

Irsheed stressed the sensitivity and seriousness of the project, adding:  it was found that there are other aspects of this project, and that there is a political and security sensitivity that was not taken into consideration, especially the harm to the rights of the people of Silwan and the residents and merchants of the Old City.”

Lawyer Sami Irsheed concluded: “We hope that the court will eventually accept our petition. During this session, we saw that the Jerusalem Municipality and the various ministries strongly support the establishment of the project, and demand that the petition be rejected.”

It’s noteworthy that The cable car, for which the government has already budgeted NIS 200 million ($55.2 million), is planned to stretch from the First Station cultural complex in the south of the city to the Old City’s Dung Gate, which is the closest entrance to the Western Wall, Mount Zion will host the only station along the way. The cable car project, intended to be ready for 2021, yet must still win final government approval.

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