Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz unveiled an ambitious plan on Wednesday to give Jordan, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq access to the Mediterranean through Israel’s ports in Haifa and Ashdod, in a plan called “Tracks for Peace.”
Under the plan, the Haifa to Beit She’an train link would be extended eastward to the border crossing with Jordan and southward to the Jenin area where the Palestinians could connect to it. Rail lines would be laid in Jordan to Irbid, and from there it would link with existing and planned lines extending north-south through Jordan, into Saudi Arabia and further east to the Persian Gulf.
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Katz, at a press conference in Jerusalem to unveil the plan, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to present this plan to US envoy Jason Greenblatt when he was in the region last month. Greenblatt received the plan “enthusiastically,” Katz, who will be speaking at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 7, said.
Separately, in response to a question posed by the media regarding Gideon Sa’ar’s recent announcement that he was returning to politics in the Likud, Katz said he himself plans to vie for the Likud leadership when Netanyahu steps down. “The Likud has had four leaders until now, I plan to be the fifth,” he said.
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