Palestinians light Christmas tree in Bethlehem

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Associated Press

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 15 at 2:34 PM

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Hundreds of Palestinians have gathered in Bethlehem to light a Christmas tree ahead of the holiday festivities in the town where Jesus was born.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pressed a button lighting up the decorations on the 50-foot (15-meter) tree Thursday, along with the lights illuminating the rest of the square outside the Church of the Nativity.

Christmas brings the world's attention every year briefly to this West Bank town south of Jerusalem.

Fayyad said Christmas was an opportunity to "celebrate the Palestinian identity of Jesus Christ."

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