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Israeli Cabinet Minister Wants To Name Proposed Train Station For Trump


All right, one other move the White House is touting in 2017 is President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinians protested because they want part of Jerusalem to be their capital. But Israeli officials are celebrating Trump's decision. And actually, one government official has plans for a Trump train station steps away from the most sensitive piece of real estate in Jerusalem. NPR's Daniel Estrin is in Jerusalem.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Israel is building a high-speed train line from the bustling city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz wants to extend the line with a final underground train stop near the Western Wall, an important Jewish prayer site. Katz, who is believed to have political ambitions to one day become prime minister, says he will name the station after President Trump for his, quote, "brave and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

The minister says the train line would strengthen Israel's hold on the city. But it's not a done deal. The plan hasn't been submitted yet for necessary approvals. Israeli transportation expert Eran Feitelson is skeptical the Trump train stop will actually materialize.

ERAN FEITELSON: In Jerusalem, there were numerous proposals that were proposed and that never materialized. It's an immense project in the most sensitive area. So it sounds to me bizarre almost. I think the likelihood is not that high.

ESTRIN: The planned train stop will likely face a lot of objection. It would be inside the walled Old City and near the most contested religious site in Jerusalem, what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary.

Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.