By Ida Vanhainen
IMEMC News & agencies: Despite PA rejection of the Israeli railway plan that would construct a 473 km long railway system running through most of the occupied West Bank, Israel pushes forward with the plan having already spent one million NIS on research and preparation.
The Israeli railway plan for the West Bank was proposed in 2012, and drew wide criticism.
The planned railway system would ignore all international borders; it is more than 473 km long, and consists of 11 separate tracks.
The PA strongly opposes to the plan as it would impose Israeli sovereignty over the Palestinian territories, and affirmed that the revival of the plan highlights Israel’s lack of interest in a two state solution.
The system is also seen as problematic since it foremost focuses on connecting the Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank, and not the Palestinian cities.
The planning of the rail-system, described on Wednesday by Israeli newspaper Haaretz as “grandiose”, is on going, while Israel’s Transportation Minister, Yisrael Katz estimates that by 2035 there will be as many as 30 million train rides a year.
International Law and various Human Rights resolutions prohibit occupying powers from changing the geography and demography of occupied territories.
Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestine, and all constructions, including roads and railways, conducted by the occupying power are illegal.
Israel’s ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem as of he main obstacles to peace in the region.
Settlements and the illegal Annexation Wall are transforming the Palestinian territories into isolated ghettos separated from each other, and isolated the Palestinians from their lands.