BEIT JALA, Palestinian Territories: Israel began construction on a controversial part of its separation barrier in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, near a Palestinian Christian town, an AFP journalist reported.
Cranes began lifting eight-metre (yard)-high blocks into place near Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem and close to Bethlehem, a photographer witnessed.
This part of the wall could cut Palestinians from their olive groves.
Nicola Khamis, mayor of Beit Jala, condemned what she saw as a land grab.
“This land is for our families, our children,” she said by phone from the bridge next to the construction site.