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Bethlehem Cancels Christmas Festivities Amid Ongoing Violence

Bethlehem Cancels Christmas Festivities Amid Ongoing Violence

Bethlehem—you know, the birthplace of Christ—has announced the cancellation of its annual Christmas decorations and celebrations in the midst of the ongoing Israel-Hamas War. This is the first time the West Bank city will not decorate for the holiday since modern Christmas traditions began.

The city typically sees thousands of pilgrims and tourists during the Christmas season, attracted by its rich historical and religious significance. However, this year, the festive atmosphere has been overshadowed by the escalating conflict.

The decision to cancel the Christmas festivities was made by Bethlehem’s municipal authorities, who explained the normal plans had been canceled “in honor of the martyrs and in solidarity with our people in Gaza.”

‘The reason is the general situation in Palestine; people are not really into any celebration,” authorities said to The Telegraph. “They are sad, angry and upset. Our people in Gaza are being massacred and killed in cold blood. Therefore, it is not appropriate at all to have such festivities while there is a massacre happening in Gaza and attacks in the West Bank.

“This year, the situation in Bethlehem is unprecedented and the mood and vibes are extremely sad,” they continued. “That is exactly what the world should see and realize that these are not normal circumstances.”

Church leaders in Bethlehem have also expressed their concern over the impact of the conflict on the Christmas celebrations. They emphasized that the message of peace and hope, central to the Christmas story, is particularly poignant in these challenging times.

The cancellation includes the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree in Manger Square, the festive parades and other public celebrations that usually mark the holiday season in Bethlehem. Religious services will still be held, but with restrictions and safety measures in place.

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