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Israel’s north-south rail project will link to Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is optimistic about the possibility of connecting Israel to the Saudi and wider Gulf rail network.
Benjamin Netanyahu train

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel’s planned north-south rail line will link the country to Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab Peninsula.

At a special cabinet meeting dedicated to a rail project linking the northern town of Kiryat Shmona to the southern Red Sea resort city of Eilat, Netanyahu said the infrastructure “will be able in the future to link Israel to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula, we’re working on that too.”

 “My vision is for every Israeli citizen to be able to travel to or from the center from anywhere in the country in less than two hours. In most cases under an hour, and even less than that,” Netanyahu added, announcing his government will invest 100 billion shekels ($27 billion) in the plan.

Netanyahu did not share more details on the possible extension of the Israel north-south railway toward Saudi Arabia, and it is unclear whether any moves in that direction could take place before diplomatic normalization between the two countries is agreed. A senior Israeli diplomatic source expressed doubts to Al-Monitor on whether such a project could be advanced before a normalization deal is reached.

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