Politics, Middle East

Palestine rejects Israel offer of regional railway link

Proposed railway scheme would link Haifa and Jenin to several Arab capitals

Palestine rejects Israel offer of regional railway link

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine 

Palestinian officials on Friday rejected an Israeli offer to establish a railway link between Palestine, Israel and several Arab states.

“Israel offered us the chance to participate in a railway scheme linking Haifa [in Israel] to Jenin [in the West Bank] to a number of Arab capitals,” Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh tweeted Friday.

“But we rejected the offer,” al-Sheikh said. “We won’t normalize relations with Israel and we won’t take part in economic solutions that perpetuate the occupation.”

The Palestinian leadership, he added, rejects any solution that does not include the establishment of a Palestinian state on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

U.S.-sponsored peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel broke down in 2014 over the latter's refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

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