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Nazareth mayor 'cancels' Christmas in protest of US Jerusalem decision

17 December 2017

Nazareth, a Muslim-majority city in Israel where Christians believe Jesus was raised, has officially canceled its Christmas celebrations this year.

The mayor of the Israeli town of Nazareth said has taken the "joy" out of Christmas with his decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The announcement to move the US embassy to Jerusalem was, meanwhile, hailed by other groups, including 250 prominent Israeli rabbis who issued Trump the biblical blessing that God gave to Joshua.

The statement also said that the Trump speech took away "all joy" from the upcoming holidays, implying there was no point in celebrating.

Within an hour of the announcement, the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace, and Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank briefly switched off their Christmas lights in protest.

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The move undid decades of USA foreign policy - which had called for the future status of the city to be decided at an advanced stage of two-state solution talks. "We have already welcomed 60,000 people to the city today", Salam said. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It's something that has to be done". Two protesters have been killed in clashes with soldiers.

"President Trump has made a bold and courageous stand that will be remembered in history forever, like President Harry Truman, who made a bold and courageous decision to recognize Israel at statehood", Hagee said. The air strikes left one Palestinian man dead and 15 injured, according to a Palestinian news agency. The status of Jerusalem is at the center of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians because the city is sacred to Judaism and Islam. Also known as the Holy City, it draws millions of pilgrims and tourists every year.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya demanded that the Islamic world "make every Friday a day of anger and revolution in every capital and city" until they "bring down Trump's decision".

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, and condemned by the vast majority of the global community.

Most world powers have treated Tel Aviv as the capital and have established their embassies there. He called on the United Nations to step up to fill the role.

Nazareth mayor 'cancels' Christmas in protest of US Jerusalem decision