The biblical town of Bethlehem, City of the Lord’s birth, has cancelled Christmas displays this year in the West Bank area in honor of Palestinian “martyrs.”
“Bethlehem Municipality crews announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city’s neighborhoods and removing all festive appearances in honor of the martyrs and in solidarity with our people in Gaza,” the Bethlehem Municipality announced on Facebook Tuesday.
That means for the first time since modern celebrations began, no Christmas trees or decorative lights will be on display in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, said to be the location of the manger of Jesus following His birth.
The decision to dismantle the nativity scene and other customary Christmas decorations was made in light of “the general situation in Palestine” and the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, a municipal spokesman said, according to The Christian Post.
“People are not really into any celebration,” the spokesperson said. “They are sad, angry and upset. Our people in Gaza are being massacred and killed in cold blood.”