German company pulls out of Israel rail project because it cuts through West Bank

Monday, May 9, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israel Railways says a German company has quit a project to build a high-speed rail link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem because the line cuts through the occupied West Bank.

Spokeswoman Liran Gordon says German railway operator Deutsche Bahn played a minor role in the project and that its departure won’t affect the link’s scheduled 2017 launch.

Deutsche Bahn confirmed Monday that it backed out of the project amid political pressure.

Several German lawmakers had criticized Deutsche Bahn’s participation.

A separate light rail project in Jerusalem has generated similar concerns. An Israeli partner in that project has said pressure from pro-Palestinian groups forced French multinational Veolia to drop out.

Veolia says it dropped out because of financial considerations.

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