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m3n4.net July 22, 2018


Nazareth cancels Christmas celebrations in support of Jerusalem

17 December 2017, 12:29 | Tara Lloyd

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem January 2014

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem January 2014

But it appears for now, even Trump's Jerusalem decision can't end the festivities in Nazareth, where Christians believe the angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, that she would give birth to the son of God.

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.

Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, will celebrate Christmas as usual, its mayor said, denying the festivities would be curtailed in protest at the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It is also one of the key elements of contention in the Israel-Palestine peace talks.

While Nazareth is located within Israel proper rather than Palestinian Authority territory in Gaza and the West Bank, a majority of its inhabitants are Arabs with Israeli citizenship.

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"Our identity and faith can not be bargained", said Salam. "The decision [by Donald Trump] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year". He's called him "wretched" and said he had "stabbed" Palestinians in the back.

Today, however, around two-thirds of the population in Nazareth is Muslim, according to sources. Christmas events in the city, which is a centre of Christian pilgrimage, normally provide a big boost to its economy.

But tensions in the region bubbled over when Trump announced Jerusalem as the recognized capital of Israel.

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.

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He described his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel's government as merely based on reality. The holy city, the Palestinians insist, is "Palestinian" and must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Approximately 69 percent of the Arab town's 76,000 inhabitants are Muslims and 30 percent are Christians.

The Palestinians' chief representative to Britain, Manuel Hassassian, blasted the American leader's decision to move the USA embassy.

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