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Israel begins construction of new wall separating Jews and Arabs in East Jerusalem

Israeli authorities have begun building another barrier to separate Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The efforts come amid a spate of attacks directed at Jewish civilians by Palestinians.

Israel said Monday it is constructing a wall in a section of East Jerusalem that has served as one of the centers of the ongoing conflict between Jews and Palestinians.

The wall is being built between the Palestinian district of Jabal Mukaber and the Jewish district of Armon Hanaziv. Authorities have already started erecting the wall, parts of which could be 9 meters (29.5 feet) high. The cost of construction has been estimated around 4.6 million euros ($5.23 million).

The barrier is meant to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones, molotov cocktails and other projectiles into the neighboring Jewish quarter, which has served as a target for such violence in the past.

Germany's foreign ministry on Monday called on Israel and the Palestinians to avoid further steps which could worsen the violence: "We are really very concerned about the situation in Israel and the occupied territories, in the West Bank," Sawsan Chebli,
a spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry said.

"We call on both sides to avoid any steps that could lead to a worsening of the situation. Both sides are called upon to work towards a de-escalation," she added.

More walls to come

Jabal Mukaber has been a source of concern for Israeli authorities because several recent attacks against Israelis have been carried out by residents of the district. Most recently, a 16-year-old Palestinian was killed after attacking Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint there.

Further barriers are also planned, including walls separating the Armon Hanayiv district from the Arab districts Dschabel Mukaber and Sur Baher.

Watch video 01:22

Palestinians shot dead in Israel

East Jerusalem has served as the center of the ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians this month, with the majority of Palestinian attackers originating from there. So far eight Israelis have been killed since the beginning of October, while more than 40 Palestinians have died.

On Monday, an

Eritrean man died from his wounds

after being shot and beaten. A group of vigilantes started to beat him following a gun attack on a bus station in southern Israel.

blc/jm (AFP, dpa)

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