Christians and Muslims turned out in their thousands to attend the lighting of the giant Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

Dignitaries also attended the popular event that took place in the biblical city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Fr Francesco Patton, a top official with the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, were present at Saturday’s ceremony. 

Mr Hamdallah took the opportunity to make a case for Palestine.

He said Palestinians were resisting Israeli plans “to uproot us and strip us from our civilisation and history”. 

Earlier on Saturday, Fr Patton greeted clergy and led a service at the Nativity Church.

Date published: 08/12/2018
Written by: Eno Adeogun
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