Sunday, March 18, 2018

A prosperous Christmas in Bethlehem

Juicebox Gallery

By Calum Toogood - December 26, 2012
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Christmas] [Bethlehem] [Manger Square]

Thousands of tourists, pilgrims and locals lined the streets of Bethlehem and gathered in the city’s Manger Square on Christmas Eve. Reigned as the most popular tourist destination in the West Bank, the city is to host around 115,000 internationals over the Christmas period, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Despite many cancellations from tourists due to the recent war in Gaza, the tourism industry has still managed to prosper.
“After the war there has been a huge increase in tourism in Bethlehem. All hotels are full regarding booking and there’s great tourism activity in the city today,” said Ms Salameh from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
A procession of marchers and musicians paraded through the city in the morning and early afternoon. Musicians also performed on the main stage in Manger Square.
The Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal, was later greeted in the city in the afternoon before holding midnight mass in the Church of the Nativity. In attendance of the mass was the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
In the Patriarch’s Christmas statement released earlier in the week, he recognised the upgrade of status for Palestine in the UN as “a step towards peace and stability in the area.”

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