(November 12, 2018) / JNS) The Old City of Jerusalem can be a great location to visit, but anyone who tried to come with him is probably unfortunately desperate. And this is because there is no right way for most people to reach the area without much walking or spending in a private cabin.
Add to summer heat in the Middle East or on the crowd, or both and you are watching a pretty bad experience. It is precisely that of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Tourism and the Development Authority of Jerusalem, along with many locals and tourists, hope for change. With rising tourist numbers and even more expected in the coming years, Jerusalem simply can not handle a large number of tourists, and the Old City needs a plan. This plan is to build a cableway that begins at the complex of the first station near the walls of the Old Town and ends outside the gate closest to the West Wall and the Temple.
A record number of tourists – 3.6 million visitors to Israel in 2017. October 2018 was the best tourist month. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, about 486,000 tourist entries were recorded in October, a monthly record for incoming tourism. 2018 is on track to hit 4 million tourists.
It is expected that the cable car will cross the valley of Hina, reach the Zion Gate, and then the Dung Gate. Some activists claim that the cable car will destroy the line of the horizon of the ancient city and should not pass through Gei Ben Hinom National Park. They also say that the Elad group – a company that manages the archaeological site of the city of David – will benefit financially from the cable car as the final station will be built on its property. At the same time, Arab residents in eastern Jerusalem complained that they had not been consulted in the planning process and claim that the construction would expel the residents of the predominantly Arab settlement of Silvan.
Doron Spilman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, dismisses these claims. He told JNS that "the planned project of cable vehicles is the initiative of the municipality of Jerusalem and the multiple ministries of the Israeli government." David welcomes all projects that annually increase access to millions of visitors – all religions and backgrounds – seeking links to the historical significance of ancient Jerusalem, including locations all over the Old city and city of David. "
Recently, the project of cable vehicles was submitted to the National Infrastructure Board, which, on the other hand, was approved for submission of a cableway construction plan. After approval by the commission, the plan will be shifted to a stage where the comments and remarks of district boards and the public are welcome. The National Infrastructure Board consists of government representatives, representatives of the public and representatives of local authorities who have considered this issue.
Minister of Tourism Iariv Levin said: "We have gone another major step towards approving the project of cable cars in Jerusalem. We have led and budgeted a project that will change the face of Jerusalem, enabling easy and easy access to tourists and visitors to the west wall. an exceptional and important tourist attraction. "
According to the Ministry of Tourism, "the cableway is designed to solve the problem of congestion and accessibility that exists in the southeastern Basin of the Old Town, given the significant increase in tourist traffic in Israel in the last two years. The cableway will be part of the public public transport system and make it available to the local , international and tourist significance. "
The ministry claims that the cable car system will have a capacity of 3,000 passengers in each direction during the maximum time and be connected to the mass transit system planned in Jerusalem. The cableway provides a unique transport solution in the area with topographic constraints, limited capacity of road infrastructure and historical and archaeological sites. Unlike other methods, these means of transport above the country do not require significant land, nor require the construction or expansion of roads.
It is also a "green project" that features minimal environmental damage, silent technology and zero pollution.
"A project of great importance"
In May, the government approved a law proposed by Levin to allocate NIS $ 200 million from the Ministry of Tourism to build a cable car. The project will be implemented by the Jerusalem Development Authority.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the cable car project "represents a significant turning point in the promotion of Jerusalem and the strengthening of its capital capital status in order to significantly increase incoming tourism in the country and strengthen its economy." Cable car, which will also be a unique tourist attraction overlooking above Jerusalem and its unique location, will also serve to strengthen and develop the city's night tourism product ….
"The cableway will provide transportation and environmental solutions, and the Old Town will be accessible to people with disabilities. On holidays for three monotheistic religions, between tens and hundreds of thousands of people visit the Old Town." Today in most parts of the Old Town, access to vehicles is denied to non-residents. a cableway defined as a project of great importance for tourism in Jerusalem. "
Ilanit Melchior, director of the Jerusalem Development Agency, told JNS that "the project is progressing. We build the cable cars."