The main Christmas tree is seen illuminated during a lighting ceremony in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Dec. 1, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
BETHLEHEM, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Palestinians on Saturday evening lit the Christmas tree at the Manger square of the West Bank city of Bethlehem in an official ceremony announcing the beginning of Christmas celebrations in Palestine.
The ceremony was attended by officials, religious leaders and scores of Palestinians and tourists. Christmas trees are scheduled to be lit in main squares in several cities besides Bethlehem, including East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
"We want the world to hear that the place of birth of Jesus Christ does not deserve a separation wall and the road to his birth place should not be hindered by roadblocks, and to come and see how Palestinians together decorate their Christmas trees, and deliver a message of brotherhood, love and united citizenship," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtaye said during a speech in the ceremony.
The city of Bethlehem in the West Bank is a widely popular touristic destination, especially during Christmas time. It is home to numerous religiously and historically significant churches and archeological sites and is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.