Israeli Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz was warmly welcomed, for a visit aimed at presenting his Arab counterparts with an Israeli regional initiative, dubbed “Tracks for Regional Peace.” The Israeli initiative aspires to build a railway that will connect the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf through Israel and Jordan. During an exclusive interview TV7 made with the Israeli minister late last year – as part of our Jerusalem Studio production – Minister Katz stressed that the Israeli initiative – which is fully backed by the United States – will establish Israel as a gate-way between East and West, practically connecting the entire Arab world, through Israel, to the Mediterranean Sea. “I think that first and foremost there exists dialogue, the Americans like the Idea very much. I through there assistance am working to advance this in all places. First, Jordan. That it will be very beneficial to it. It will become a very significant economic hub. The Arab world has all the reasons to want this, we made some economic research. They have interests to transport their goods from this entire region and export it further. / “I say this definitively, it is a mistake not to make the decision. Regarding the (train) tracks and the connection of the tracks, I took the Turkish wisdom from the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire. They built the Hijazi train (network) on the basis that the Mediterranean sea that is situated on the coast of Israel provides the option of connecting the Arab world with the Mediterranean in the shortest route. Shorter than the Suez (canal) shorter than 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) of moving over sea from any direction until the area of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. We can provide an exit point to the Mediterranean Sea to an Arab train network, which by the way, as I deepened myself (into this topic), I found out that most of it (tracks) already exist. Saudi Arabia has and is rapidly expanding (its trains network). There is a fast and highly technological Saudi train, for both transport and passengers that extends to the border with Jordan, which is amazing. It is located in the area of Khadifa. There is a train there up to the border with Jordan. There is an Israeli train up until Bait Shean, we renewed the valley train network from the Haifa ports. Fourteen kilometers (8.6 miles) I connect the (Israeli) tracks to the border with Jordan at the Sheikh Hussein (border crossing), from there 200 kilometers (124.2 miles) from Jordan 150 kilometers (93.2 miles) It is very east. the moment this connects’ we connect the Mediterranean sea, via Israel, through Jordan, Saudi Arabia and all the countries of the Arabian gulf that already have a track network,” Israeli Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt addressed Katz’s visit on Tuesday, tweeting, “Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Yisrael Katz is attending an international transport event in Oman. He will present a plan to build a railway connecting Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Let’s continue the dialogue. These efforts support our own.”