Thousands of Palestinians and tourists gather this Monday in Bethlehem, West Bank to celebrate Christmas. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, the highest Roman Catholic authority in the Holy Land will carry out his solemn entry into Bethlehem, West Bank an autonomous zone, during the afternoon.
The Palestinians just claimed a historic victory in “June” to get the registration of the Church of the Nativity and the pilgrimage route to Bethlehem, the World Heritage of UNESCO, despite the opposition from Israel and the United States.
From midnight, the patriarch will preside the great Christmas Mass in St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, next to the Basilica of the Nativity, in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Faya, and the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Naser Jawdeh.
During the holidays, the Israeli army lowered their security measures to facilitate the passage of Christian pilgrims at checkpoints, including Palestinians from the occupied territories and Israeli Arabs.