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nsucurrent.com April 21, 2018


Nazareth Christmas celebrations will probably be held as regular…

17 December 2017, 01:12 | Colleen Roy

Image source You Tube screenshot

Image source You Tube screenshot

Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel, with a population of 76,000 Muslims and Christians.

The Israeli Arab city said it had cancelled some Christmas celebrations in protest at the US President's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate", Salam said during a press conference Thursday.

'The decision [by Trump] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year'.

Newsweek reports that the cancellation will impact the local economy "severely", as tens of thousands of people usually travel to the town during the Christmas season for the festivities.

But tensions in the region bubbled over when Trump announced Jerusalem as the recognized capital of Israel. Nazareth is believed to be Jesus Christ's childhood home, though he was born in Bethlehem.

Nazareth, which Christians consider to be Jesus' birth site, is a major tourist destination and pilgrimage site.




The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem - the biblical birthplace of Jesus - and Ramallah briefly turned off their Christmas lights within an hour of the Nazareth announcement, Reuters said, adding that there's no word if Bethlehem also is considering scaling back its celebrations.

Arab and European leaders warned ahead of the announcement that formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would push the talks further off track.

Ismail Haniya said: "We demand the Islamic world make every Friday a day of anger and revolution in every capital and city until we bring down Trump's decision". The status of Jerusalem is at the center of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians because the city is sacred to Judaism and Islam. Almost 70 percent are Muslim and about 30 percent are Christian.

Earlier this month, Trump made his controversial decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem, overturning years of American policy.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, and condemned by the vast majority of the worldwide community. Muslims oppose the move as they see East Jerusalem as a future capital for Palestine. "This shows the world that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not up for negotiation, and America is and shall always remain a loyal ally of Israel". Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

But the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Trump's decision "opens the gates of hell".



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