Beit Fajar

Beit Fajar is a lively, industrial town, humming with life and activity. Its main economic sector is stone-cutting, evidenced by the many dusty workshops lining the main road through the industrial part of town. However, the rows of trees with pink flowers interrupt the dusty, grey scene of rock-cutting beautifully.

The stone produced – known as meleke – is used widely in the construction of buildings in Israel and Palestine. In total, Beit Fajar is home to 138 of the West Bank’s 650 stone cutting outlets. A big town in its own right, Beit Fajar is also just 8km from the thriving city of Bethlehem, which has much to offer visitors.

Population: 11,000 (2007)

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What To Do

While it is interesting to see the process of stone cutting, and to know that this is a Palestinian town which continues to function despite Israeli occupation, the real beauty of Beit Fajar is in its Old City. The many restored, old and beautiful buildings, with the domed roofs – designed to keep the home cool in summer – punctuate the skyline. The traditional Arabic arch can be found built into many of the houses.

Beit Fajar is only 8km away from Bethlehem and the wonderful sites it has to offer, as well as villages such as Battir and Za’atara.

Where To Eat

For a variety of restaurants and cafes head into Bethlehem, 8km away, neighbouring Beit Sahour or Jerusalem.

Where To Stay

There is a range of hotels in the surrounding area for visitors to choose from, most located in either Bethlehem itself or Beit Sahour. Alternatively, Jerusalem is less than an hour’s drive.