While Nazareth is located within Israel proper rather than Palestinian Authority territory in Gaza and the West Bank, a majority of its inhabitants are Arabs with Israeli citizenship. "The decision has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will cancel the festivities this year", he said.
President Donald Trump may not know how to celebrate Christmas - but he certainly knows how to ruin it for others.
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There have been widespread protests across the world in condemnation of Trump's decision with only Israel and the United States supporting his plan.
The mayor of Nazareth said Saturday that Christmas celebrations would go ahead in Jesus' hometown, only days after announcing holiday festivities would be canceled in protest of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. About 70 percent are Muslim and 30 percent Christian. World leaders criticized the decision, and people protested across the Middle East, resulting in multiple deaths.
Nazareth as one of the holiest cities in Christendom because it was there that the angel Gabriel is believed by Christians to have told the Virgin Mary she would conceive and bear Jesus.
Palestinian Christians inside Jerusalem itself had called on Trump not to go through with the move.
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Nevertheless, the local administration has already walked back his aggressive position somewhat, conceding "there are commercial interests of the city and we are used to hundreds of thousands [of Christians] coming for this season". The loss of many of these attractions is bound to cost the town dearly.
Reuters pointed out that the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, also briefly switched off its Christmas lights last week in protest.
However, it is not confirmed whether the two cities are also considering cutting down on their festivities during a time when tourism is at its peak.
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