JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel wants to name a train station after President Trump to thank him for recognizing Jerusalem as its capital, but the site of the planned building could be as divisive as the U.S. president’s declaration.
Transport Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday he had chosen a proposed subway stop near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City - right in the middle of the area that the Palestinians want as their own future capital.
“I have decided to name the Western Wall station … after U.S. President Donald Trump for his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Katz said in a statement.
The envisaged underground extension of a high-speed rail link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is still on the drawing board and a transport ministry spokeswoman said other departments still needed to approve it.
The announcement was quickly condemned by Palestinian leaders already angered by Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to overturn decades of U.S. policy on the city.
“The Israeli extremist government is trying to race against time to impose facts on the ground in the city of Jerusalem,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, told Reuters.
If the station name goes through, it would not be the first location in Israel to be named after the president — a park in the northern city of Kiryat Yam has already been named after Trump.