Hundreds of Palestinians and pilgrims gathered for the tree lighting ceremony in Bethlehem's Manger Square on Saturday.
This annual event officially kicked off the Christmas celebrations in the town believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
During the ceremony the mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboon lit up a 15-meter high Christmas tree outside the church of Nativity.
"The message of Bethlehem is specifically in this year that we have the solidarity, we urge all the people through our message, that we need that solidarity because we only need on this Christmas- justice," said Baboon.
The crowd applauded and cheered as the tree was illuminated with colorful lights, and a fireworks display followed.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, attended the ceremony.sign up to our newsletter