Thousands of people attended the annual Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Saturday night to mark the start of the holiday season.
Palestinians light up Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity in occupied WB city of Bethlehem.
— AbdelKarim Alkahlout ??? (@KareemN96) December 1, 2018
Among the speakers at the night’s events was Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who said in his remarks that “With all the joy and hope that is here tonight, we open our hearts and together light this Christmas tree. The tree lighting marks the start of the cheerful holiday celebrations in all of Palestine.”
Bethlehem, December 2018 pic.twitter.com/BmpZ3Iyrnd
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) December 2, 2018
The celebration also included the participation of Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman, several ministers, and other officials.
Lighting the Christmas tree in Bethlehem's Nativity Square
The birthplace of Jesus Christ peace be upon him
In order to prove to the world of Muslims and Christians in Palestine are brothers united in the face of the Israeli occupation pic.twitter.com/YCgVQfTHL0
— ??India support for free Palestine (imtiyaz)?? (@Imtiyazmakrani4) December 2, 2018
Father Francesco Patton, a top official with the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, who led a service at the Nativity Church prior to the Christmas-tree lighting, was also present.
A fireworks display and festivities accompanied the annual ceremony in the run-up to Christmas Eve, which attracts thousands of tourists from around the world.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)