Prtime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet on Sunday conducted its weekly meeting inside the Western Wall (Kotel) tunnels in honor of Jerusalem Day and the celebration of the liberation of eastern Jerusalem and the Old City. Among other topics, the ministers will debate the construction of an elevator and underground passages from the Jewish Quarter to the Kotel plaza. A cable car will also be discussed.
The project that the government is expected to approve solves the lack of accessibility between the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. It is expected to serve at least one-quarter of the 10 million annual visitors to the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall.
Today, the only access road to the Wailing Wall from the Jewish Quarter is the stairway, a drop of about 26 yards. It presents difficulties before the disabled and disabled, the elderly, and parents with baby carriages.
The elevator project will involve digging a 26-yard deep shaft, as well as a 65-yard pedestrian tunnel connecting the elevator exit to the security checkpoint at the Kotel plaza.
A more complicated and expensive project to be approved by the ministers is a cable car over ancient Jerusalem, to be funded by the Tourism Ministry to the tune of about $4 million.