Tiny Israeli sect protests Jerusalem cable car plan

David versus Goliath: Tiny religious sect emerges as key impediment for controversial Jerusalem cable car plan

JERUSALEM -- A tiny religious sect is emerging as a major impediment for a controversial plan to connect modern Jerusalem and its historic Old City with a cable car network.

Other objections — from Palestinian residents, environmentalists, urban planners and archaeologists — have so far been unable to halt the project. But the Karaite Jewish community's concern that the cable car will desecrate its ancient cemetery may provide the biggest hurdle of all to government planners.

Israel's Tourism Ministry, along with Jerusalem city officials, proposed the cable car as a solution for ferrying tourists over traffic-snarled city streets and steep hills to the iconic walled Old City.

Planners chose the route as the most sensitive way to leave the city's historical treasures intact — but apparently were unaware of the Karaite cemetery.