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Bethlehem hopes for Christmas miracle as new variant stops visitors

Bethlehem is readying for the holiday season and will go ahead with the lighting of the Christmas tree and a holiday market despite the new COVID-19 variant and fears of a new lockdown.
HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images

RAMALLAH — Busily arranging the antiques in his small shop in the Manger Square near the Church of Nativity, Laith Adnan Sobh said he hopes this holiday season will be different from the previous Christmases during the pandemic.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on his souvenir shop, but this year Sobh ordered more wood carvings to sell.

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