Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed building a network of underground highway systems across the West Bank to enable the maintenance of territorial contiguity for both Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns, The Times of Israel’s sister site, Zman Yisrael, reported Saturday.
Netanyahu is aiming for high-speed tunnels routes designed ostensibly to address the problems of traffic jams and congestion, per the vision of the billionaire Elon Musk, and his engineering firm Boring Company.
Netanyahu presented his plans during a conversation Friday with French investors in Paris at the hotel where he spent the weekend.
According to Netanyahu, the tunnel routes could refute Palestinian claims that they have no territorial contiguity in the West Bank, as their communities would be linked underground.
The network would also make it possible to travel between settlements in a matter of a few minutes.
The proposal would also help solve other settlement-related issues, essentially annexing the settlements to Israel via the network of tunnels and highways, and enabling improved security and protection against Palestinian attacks for Israeli motorists in the area.
During the conversation with the French investors, whose total wealth was estimated by the prime minister at $150 billion, Netanyahu asked who would be willing to invest in such a project. Several of them enthusiastically raised their hands.
One of the investors told Netanyahu that he invests in Israel but has endless bureaucratic problems, mainly with the Israel Land Authority.
“How long does it take you to solve problems with them?” Netanyahu asked.
“A whole year,” the investor complained.
“You are doing well, it takes me longer,” Netanyahu replied.