Banksy set to open 'protest' hotel in Bethlehem

The hotel is not Banksy's first statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Welcome to the wall: artist Banksy opens Bethlehem hotel (credit: REUTERS)
A hotel designed by world famous guerilla street artist Banksy is set to open in the West Bank city of Bethlehem next month, The Guardian reported Friday.
The Walled Off Hotel, located just steps away from Israel's concrete security barrier, is the latest venture by the camera-shy British artist in an effort to not only boost the local economy but spark dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
Described by The Guardian as "hotel, protest and art in one," the 10-room facility aims to bring awareness to younger Israelis looking to visit the historical city instead of partying the weekend away in Tel Aviv.
Israelis are forbidden by law to venture into Bethlehem, controlled by the Palestinian Authority in area A of the West Bank. But the hotel's location rests just outside the city's boundaries, and therefore under Israel's control, making it accessible to Israeli civilians.
The lodging will host exhibitions for international audiences interested in viewing artwork created by local Palestinian artists. The hotel will also have a “colonial” theme, with afternoon tea times open to the public.
The Walled Off Hotel is not Banksy's first foray into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The artist has painted several images on the security barrier between Israel and the West Bank, including a drawing of a little girl with balloons flying over the barrier. In 2015, he released a short film about conditions in Gaza after the end of Operation Protective Edge.