BETHLEHEM (AP) — Just a few dozen individuals attended the lighting of the Christmas tree within the biblical metropolis of Bethlehem on Saturday night time, as coronavirus restrictions scaled again the annual occasion that’s usually attended by 1000’s.
A small group of residents and non secular leaders participated within the tree-lighting ceremony at Manger Sq. close to the Church of the Nativity, the place Christians imagine Jesus was born. Others watched it nearly on account of restrictions prompted by the virus pandemic.
Some officers, together with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, attended in individual and addressed occasion individuals watching on-line.
Shtayyeh mentioned the Palestinian management is receiving the brand new yr with willpower to “confronting the (Israeli) occupation extra firmly” and ending the inner political division with the rival militant Hamas group. He mentioned the Palestinians would “defeat the settlement”-building within the occupied West Financial institution regardless of the pandemic.
Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman mentioned Christmas is being noticed this yr in methods like no time earlier than.
“We resorted to trendy know-how and to the digital world to rejoice the lighting of the Christmas tree, wishing hope and optimism would flutter upon Palestine and the world,” Salman mentioned.
1000’s of pilgrims and vacationers usually go to Bethlehem, fill resorts and dine at eating places in the course of the Christmas season, bringing the realm a much-needed injection of money.
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