Christians come to the West Bank community of Bethlehem at Christmas to honor the birth of the Prince of Peace.
But this year, the community is putting terrorists first.
“Bethlehem Municipality crews announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city’s neighborhoods and removing all festive appearances in honor of the martyrs and in solidarity with our people in Gaza,” the municipality wrote Tuesday on Facebook.
A spokesman for the community elaborated to the U.K.’s Telegraph.
“This year the situation in Bethlehem is unprecedented and the mood and vibes are extremely sad, and that is exactly what the world should see, and realize that these are not normal circumstances,” he said.
“Bethlehem should send out its own message of condolence and mourning.”
The spokesman blamed the change on Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza, which came in response to the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attacks that killed 1,200 people in southern Israel.
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“The reason is the general situation in Palestine; people are not really into any celebration, they are sad, angry and upset; our people in Gaza are being massacred and killed in cold blood,” he said.
“Therefore, it is not appropriate at all to have such festivities while there is a massacre happening in Gaza and attacks in the West Bank,” the spokesman said.
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He said individuals could still come to Manger Square to pray and traditional Christmas services still will be held.
In reporting about Bethlehem’s gesture of solidarity with the terrorists of Hamas, the U.K.’s Daily Mail noted that this is the first year in living memory the place of Jesus’ birth has not been decorated.