Skip to main content

Coronavirus robs Bethlehem of Easter festivities

Easter, along with Chrismas, has been a high point for tourism in Bethlehem, the birthpace of Jesus, but alas, not this year.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — “The city would have been crowded with tourists this time of year,” said Elias al-Arja, president of the Palestinian Hotel Association. “Streets, shops, hotels, restaurants would all be packed with tourists, but this year, there is no one. It is a catastrophe.”

Every March and April, Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, comes to life as Christians from around the world flock there for anticipation of Easter. This year will be different for the historic West Bank city, which has been under lockdown since March 6, after the first cases of COVID-19 emerged in Palestine.

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.