Skip to main content

Trump's Palestinian pilgrimage brings hope, concern

US President Donald Trump will visit Bethlehem during his stay in Israel, where Palestinians expect him to finally lay out his vision on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Rivlinís residence in Jerusalem May 22, 2017.  REUTERS/Atef Safadi/Pool - RTX37003
Read in 

When the Israeli army finally withdrew from major Palestinian cities in fulfillment of the Oslo Accord, then-Palestinian President Yasser Arafat paid close attention to the city of Bethlehem.

Realizing the importance of the birthplace of Christianity, Arafat made it a tradition to attend the annual Christmas Eve Mass in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, which is broadcast live throughout the world. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has attended Mass on the evening of Dec. 24 every single year since he became president.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.