Christmas reborn in Bethlehem after pandemic years

December 25, 2022

Advertising Read moreRevered in Christian tradition as the birthplace of Christ, the town of Bethlehem welcomes thousands of pilgrims and tourists for Christmas every year, a windfall that dried up over the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions. Now with restrictions lifted in the Palestinian territories and Israel, where the closest international airport with access to Bethlehem is located, the southern West Bank town has taken on a festive air. "Christmas is the town's celebration, and we put in a lot of time and effort to prepare for it," Bethlehem mayor Hanna Hanania told AFP. 'Significant place'Tourists converged on the streets, shops and stone buildings of this Palestinian town, where Christians and Muslims live side by side. The Palestinian Authority, which governs the Israeli-occupied West Bank, confirmed Siriani's feelings.