Bethlehem, known for its joyous and colorful bright Christmas celebration has official canceled Christmas for this year in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.
The municipality of Bethlehem has organised an artwork called “Nativity under the Rubble” in Manger Square where a decorated Christmas tree usually stands.
The event was inaugurated by Rula Maayah, the Palestinian Minister of Tourism, and Hana Hananiyeh, the Mayor of Bethlehem, on Saturday night.
In just two months, up to 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Gaza due to Israeli attacks.
The heart-wrenching reality of thousands of young lives being taken away on the other side of Palestine has cast a somber hue over Bethlehem’s usually jubilant atmosphere during this time of year.
Compounding this sorrow, Israeli restrictions and the closure of checkpoints have further dampened the spirits of this sacred city.
These measures have made it incredibly challenging for tourists and pilgrims to reach Bethlehem, hindering the annual influx of visitors who seek to experience the magic of Christmas in its most revered setting.
Christian leaders in Bethlehem have vocally condemned Hamas’ surprise terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7, which killed about 1,200 people and saw at least 240 others taken hostage.
“We condemn the brutal attacks of Hamas on October 7th that caused the loss of life of nearly 1,400 Israelis and citizens of other nations, and we call for the immediate release of all civilians held hostage,” a group of Bethlehem clerics wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden last month.
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