The nine-year campaign against the fence, which would have divided church properties and separated dozens of Palestinian Christian families from their land, had drawn the intercession of Pope Francis.
Sandwiched between Bethlehem and Palestinian East Jerusalem, the outpost is a pet project of Benjamin Netanyahu — and, activists say, one of the key obstacles to a two-state solution.
Tourists, pilgrims, and locals gathered in a festive atmosphere at Bethlehem's Manger Square, but the harsh reality of life under occupation still lingered.
The wall destroyed Johnny Anastas' livelihood and trapped his home in on three sides, so he decided to make the most of it with a gift shop full of wooden, Christian-themed souvenirs.
Palestinians in the West Bank have been protesting the ongoing military assault in the Gaza Strip for the past several weeks.
Which isn't surprising considering he's on Israel's side.