BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Residents of Bethlehem awoke to loud blasts Thursday as Israeli construction crews dynamited a planned route of the separation wall through a nearby village.
"It was routine construction for the fence," an Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an.
The construction is for a controversial separation wall cutting off the village of Walaja, which abuts an Israeli settlement outside Bethlehem, from other parts of the occupied West Bank.
Footage of one of the explosions later Thursday was uploaded to YouTube by Anne Paq of the Activestills photo collective. Villagers said explosions near houses in Walaja were to make room for the wall which will surround the village, Paq told Ma'an, adding that previous blasts had damaged houses.
The village holds regular protests against construction of the wall and settlements.