In its original conception, the Jerusalem Light Rail, which ferries passengers through the troubled city's Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, was imagined as a symbol for coexistence. Or, as Jodi Rudoren (more quixotically) wrote:
A rare sliver where devout and hedonistic, new arrivals and ancestral natives, soldiers and tourists and, yes, Palestinians and Jews paid the same $2 fare and watched out the same windows as they passed the ancient stones of Jerusalem’s Old City and the modern marvel of Santiago Calatrava’s “Bridge of Strings.”
However, since this summer's war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the tension in Jerusalem has turned the light rail into a ghost train. In July, several stations were destroyed in rioting that followed the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager⎯a crime that followed the murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Since the war's end, Palestinians have stopped using the service and the cars of the trains themselves have become targets for vandalism and destruction.
On Wednesday, eight people were injured when a Palestinian man slammed a car into a light rail stop. "Footage of the incident showed the car veer to the right from the traffic lane and hurtle at speed into a light railway platform," Reuters noted, "hitting pedestrians before coming to a halt apparently after flattening a signpost."