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Spanish multinational CAF and Israeli Shapir win tender to expand the Jerusalem light rail

Who Profits | August 2019

In August 2019, the Israeli Ministry of Finance announced that TransJerusalem J-Net Ltd, a consortium comprised of the Spanish multinational company CAF- Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles and the Israeli public company Shapir Engineering and Industry, won the tender to expand the Jerusalem light rail[1], which connects Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem with the western part of the city. The tender, estimated at 11 billion NIS[2] (more than 3 billion USD), includes the construction, operation and maintenance of the Green Line, the extension of the existing Red Line, and the operation and maintenance of the Red Line, currently operated by the CityPass consortium.

CAF, which specializes in the design and implementation of transit systems,[3] will hold a 50% stake in J-Net.[4] In February 2019, the company’s workers’ council voted against participating in the Jerusalem light rail and urged the company to withdraw from the bid, stating that “CAF’s workers do not deserve to assume the responsibility for carrying out a job rejected by the overwhelming majority of the international community.”[5] Shapir Engineering and Industry, which specializes in construction, development and infrastructure projects, will hold the remaining 50%.[6]

The Jerusalem light rail connects Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem with the western part of the city, expropriating occupied Palestinian land and promoting increased territorial contiguity for settlements.[7] Executed through public-private partnerships, the light rail project depends on the participation of Israeli and multinational companies for its implementation.

Currently, the only active line is the Red Line, which runs from the settlement neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev through the city center to Mt. Herzel. The construction of the line involved the expropriation of 8.16 hectares (81,600m2)[8] of land in East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods, in violation of international law. The winning consortium will also construct the extension of the Red Line, which will reach the settlement of Neve Yaakov.[9]

The planned Green Line will connect the settlement neighborhood of Gilo to the western part of the city and to Mt. Scopus. The project includes the construction of 53 new stations, the supply of 144 railroad cars and the renovation of the existing 46 cars of the Red Line.[1] The winning consortium will also supply the communication systems for the light rail and operate and maintain both lines – 15 years for the Red Line and 25 years for the Green Line – with the possibility of extending the term of operation.[2]

By taking an active part in an infrastructure project that strengthens the illegal settlement enterprise and the continued fragmentation of Palestinian communities, the companies are facilitating the illegal annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and are complicit in violations of international law.

[1] CAF Press Release. The Consortium Made Up of the CAF Group and the Construction Firm Shapir Awarded the Jerusalem Tram Project. August 2019.

[2] Ibid.

[1] Company’s announcement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. 08 August 2019.

[2] Government of Israel. Infrastructure for Growth. 2019

[3] Company Annual Report, 2018.

[4] CAF Press Release. The Consortium Made Up of the CAF Group and the Construction Firm Shapir Awarded the Jerusalem Tram Project. August 2019.

[5] Nieuwhof, Adri. Workers Reject Spanish Firm’s Bid for Israeli Settlement Project. Electronic Intifada, February 2019.

[6] Company’s announcement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. 08 August 2019.

[7] Who Profits. Tracking Annexation: The Jerusalem Light Rail and the Israeli Occupation. July 2017.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

September 24, 2019 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I take it the service is strictly for the use of Jews only, no grunting subhuman goyim are allowed to board the train?

    Comment by traducteur | September 24, 2019 | Reply


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