RAMALLAH, West Bank - An official says the Palestinian Authority has scrapped plans to receive Pope Benedict next week on a stage near Israel's West Bank separation barrier.

Palestinians hoped receiving the Pope next to a towering cement wall and military watchtower inside the Aida refugee camp would highlight suffering under Israeli occupation.

Palestinian legislator Essa Qaraqie said today that the location was changed to a United Nations school after military officials forbade them to erect the stage near the barrier.

The Pope's convoy will still pass near the wall.

Israeli officials accuse the Palestinians of politicizing the pope's Holy Land visit.

Israel says the barrier is meant to keep out attackers. Palestinians say it's a land grab.