5 January 2009
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Christmas on the eastern Orthodox calendar on Wedensday will be a subdued affair in light of the Israeli war on Gaza, officials in the West Bank City of Bethlehem say.
Bethlehem Police Chief Abdul-Jabbar Burqan said that his officers have completed preparations for the celebration, including easing restrictions on movement throughout the city.
The heads of Palestinian churches and the Palestinian Authority have cancelled public celebrations, including the traditional boy and girl scout parades. The lights on Manger Square will not be lit. Religious rituals will go ahead as planned.
Leaders of the Syrian Church, the Roman Church and Ethiopian Church will be received in the Manger Square from 8:30am to 3:30pm.
Palestinian police in Bethlehem in the southern West Bank completed preparation for Christmas Eve according to eastern calendar on Tuesday, says director of Bethlehem police Abdul-Jabbar Burqan.