Jerusalem Cable Car

Ioana Isac, second from right, the 3 millionth tourist to visit Israel this year, and her partner Mihai Georgescu, left, get an exclusive tour with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, right, at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in November.

A planned cable car system linking key landmarks in Jerusalem “will be yet another boost to tourism” in the capital city, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.

The project is budgeted at some $56 million and is expected to complement other efforts to streamline access to the Western Wall.

In an effort to avoid any legal setbacks and delays, Israeli officials announced last week that the cable car system will pass mostly over state-owned land.

Israel’s National Infrastructure Committee, headed by former Member of Knesset Avigdor Itzchaky, was expected to start reviewing the plan this week. The approval process is projected to take about a year, and the system is expected to be up and running by 2021.

This is the first time that a plan from the Israeli Tourism Ministry has been submitted to the National Infrastructure Committee rather than to a local zoning committee. The change is a result of a directive issued by Levin.

The cable car system is designed to take visitors from Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood to the Western Wall and then to the Mount of Olives. The initiative was officially unveiled in May, when the Israeli cabinet held a special session in the Western Wall tunnels to mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

In November, Israel received its record-setting 3 millionth tourist in a single year. The tourist — Ioana Isac of Romania — was escorted by Levin to Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum for an exclusive tour with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. JN