\r\n"We have the ability to create an alternative transport route that bypasses the Suez Canal - this is an insurance policy," says Israel's prime minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu. "Israel must become a continental land crossing route."\r\nThe government will now consider how to fund the electrified double-track line which could cost up to Shekels 30bn ($US 8bn) including rolling stock. There are three potential funding options: a partnership with another country with which Israel already has economic ties, a public-private partnership, or the state budget. The project is expected to take five years to complete, once the funding mechanism is finalised.