IN PICTURES: Christmas preparations in full swing in the Holy Land

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, sent greetings to the Catholic world and called for peace in the region.

December 24, 2015 17:31
1 minute read.

A Christian man dressed up as Santa Claus rings a bell as he sits on a camel at Mt. Olives back-dropped by Jerusalem's Old City skyline. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal made his way through the Bethlehem checkpoint at the Israeli built separation barrier on Thursday, on his way to lead Christmas festivities in the West Bank town.

The religious leader sent greetings to the Catholic world and called for peace in the region.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Thousands of worshipers awaited the Patriarch in Bethlehem's Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.

Upon his arrival, he was accompanied by a procession of clergymen into the ancient church, where he is expected to lead midnight and Christmas morning mass.

Worshiper Lucy Abu Haileh was at the square for the occasion.

"The atmosphere is nice but the general situation that we are living here and in the Arab world makes the happiness not complete. We like to see peace and love (in the world) because our existence as Christians in Palestine is important to keep forgiveness and peace," she said.

"I'm here because of the nice atmosphere and to be here with my Christian brothers and sisters and spend their holiday with them and have fun with them," said Saja Meshal who came to celebrate Christmas at Manger Square.

Since October, the region has seen a campaign of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings by Palestinians that has killed 20 Israelis and a US citizen. Israeli forces or armed civilians have killed at least 124 Palestinians, 76 of whom authorities described as assailants, while others died in clashes with security forces.

The surge in violence has been partly fueled by Palestinian frustration over the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks in 2014, the growth of Jewish settlements on land they seek for a future state and Islamist calls for the destruction of Israel.

Palestinians are also angry over stepped-up Jewish visits to Jerusalem's al-Aksa mosque compound, which is revered by Muslims as Islam's third holiest site and by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical-era temples.

sign up to our newsletter

Related Content

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein visiting an IFCJ-sponsored medical clinic in Amman that treats Christian refu
August 15, 2018
Protecting the persecuted