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No Christmas cheer in Bethlehem this year amid coronavirus pandemic

The municipality of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank has begun preparations to celebrate the holidays amid exceptional measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A worker sets up lights on a giant Christmas tree at the Church of the Nativity compound as mass was celebrated to ceremonially launch the beginning of the Christmas season, in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 28, 2020. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

On Nov. 23, the Palestinian government declared a two-week lockdown starting Nov. 27. 

In light of this decision, the Bethlehem municipality announced Nov. 24 that the opening of the annual Christmas market, scheduled to begin in the first week of December, has been postponed until Dec. 19 or Dec. 20.

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