Occupied Jerusalem - A controversial Israeli plan to build a cable car to occupied Jerusalem’s historic Old City has passed a major hurdle and now only requires government approval.

The National Infrastructure Committee on Monday rejected a battery of petitions against the proposed cable car and green lit the contentious project. The estimated $55 million project, which is being advanced by the Tourism Ministry, now requires approval by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in order to proceed.

The cable car would ferry tourists from a renovated train station complex in occupied Jerusalem’s western half to the Old City in the east. The proposed route spans several verdant valleys and runs past the city’s iconic walls. The project has faced vocal protestations from Palestinian residents, environmentalists, urban planners, architects, religious minority groups and others.