Adam Teva V’Din lawyers were in the High Court of Justice (Bagatz) today to attend the latest hearing against the proposed cable car plan for the Old City of Jerusalem. The proposed cable car that would carry 3,000 people per hour from Jerusalem’s ‘First Station area’ to right outside the Old City, has been on hold for almost a year. It was originally advertised as being both a tourist attraction as well as an answer to chronic traffic and approved by a government committee back in November 2019. However, numerous archeologists, architects, tour guides and historians, along with Jerusalem community associations, have been very critical of the proposed cable car and the damage it would do to both the sanctity of the area as well as the green nature of the location, which would be taken up by the cable car infrastructure. The High Court has been demanding answers as to why this project was ever green-lighted.
In the past Adam Teva V’Din lawyers have argued at hearings that the cable car would cause severe damage to a world-important heritage landscape while not significantly reducing vehicle traffic. We also stressed that permission to build the cable car infrastructure was given on the basis of insufficient information, and as a result must be retracted.
On Friday, Minister of Transport, Merav Michaeli, came out in opposition of the cable car. “The cable car does not have a significant transportation function…the damage it causes will outweigh the benefits.” Michaeli expressed that “… the damage the project causes to the historic scenery of the Old City and the heritage assets that are so important to us, as well as the political and security implications of its promotion, should be examined with due sensitivity.” In place of the cable car, the Transportation Ministry is instead promoting a ‘Golden Line’ route of the light rail.
As a result of today’s hearing, the High Court has given the state 21 days to file a supplementary statement. This must now include the position of the Ministry of Transportation opposing the advancement of the project. Petitioners will then also have the right to respond to the issue.