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Nazareth to observe most Christmas festivities despite anger over Trump

Nazareth to observe most Christmas festivities despite anger over Trump

On Wednesday, a city spokesman said there would be some cuts to the celebrations to protest against President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem that angered Palestinians as well as USA allies in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Christmas events in the city, which is a center of Christian pilgrimage, normally provide a big boost to its economy.

Mayor of the Israeli city of Nazareth, Ali Salam [Angela Almeida Prado‎/Facebook] Known as "the Arab capital of Israel", Nazareth is made up mostly of Muslims and Christians Arabs.

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth - the town where Jesus grew up - has announced he is cancelling Christmas events over U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "The decision has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will cancel the festivities this year", Salam reportedly said. "We have already welcomed 60,000 people to the city today", Salam said. Nazareth is believed to be Jesus Christ's childhood home, though he was born in Bethlehem.

Reuters reports that Nazareth isn't the only town to protest the move; within an hour of the announcement, the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace, and Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank briefly switched off their Christmas lights in protest.

Jerusalem holds significance for three major world religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

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

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The announcement to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem was, meanwhile, hailed by other groups, including 250 prominent Israeli rabbis who issued Trump the biblical blessing that God gave to Joshua.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital a milestone. Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

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 global community. Palestinians maintain that Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state.

Following the 1967 Middle East war, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, according to express.co.uk, but the claim is not recognised by the global community or Palestinians.

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

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