Christmas in Palestine 2011 – in pictures


A tourists visits on December 10, 2011 Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, where the annual Christmas Eve mass is held, as preparations for the Christian holiday began in the biblical West Bank town where Christians believe Jesus was born. AFP PHOTO/ MUSA AL-SHAER

A tourist has her photograph taken in the Church of Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem November 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A man walks through the Church of Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 4, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Greek Orthodox alter boys take part in a procession before mass at the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on the second Sunday of Advent December 4, 2011. The church is the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa (2nd R) ceremonially launches the beginning of the Christmas season at the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa (R) ceremonially launches the beginning of the Christmas season at the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Franciscan monks attend a mass to ceremonially launch the beginning of Christmas season at the Church of the Nativity,the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Franciscan monks take part in a ritual mass ceremony of the Franciscan Fathers at Santa Cathrina Church at the compound of the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank City of Bethlehem on November 26, 2011, to decleare the start of the Christmas celebrations next mont. AFP PHOTO/MUSA AL-SHAER

Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa (C) ceremonially launches the beginning of the Christmas season at the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A Franciscan monk carries a crucifix as he takes part in a mass to ceremonially launch the beginning of Christmas season at the Church of the Nativity,the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Franciscan monks take part in a ritual mass ceremony of the Franciscan Fathers at Santa Cathrina Church at the compound of the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank City of Bethlehem on November 26, 2011, to decleare the start of the Christmas celebrations next mont. AFP PHOTO/MUSA AL-SHAER

Palestinian municipal workers decorate on December 10, 2011 the central Christmas tree set up in Bethlehem's Manger Square with a mosque in the background. Preparations for Christmas have begun in the biblical West Bank town where Christians believe Jesus was born. AFP PHOTO/ MUSA AL-SHAER

Palestinian municipal workers decorate on December 10, 2011 the central Christmas tree set up in Bethlehem's Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity, where the annual Christmas Eve mass is held. Preparations for Chritmas have begun in the biblical West Bank town where Christians believe Jesus was born. AFP PHOTO/ MUSA AL-SHAER

A Palestinian man works on Bethlehem's Christmas tree in Manger Square, outside the Church of Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

A woman photographs a man holding children in front of a decorated Christmas tree during the annual lighting ceremony of the tree at Manger Square in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Christian nuns take their photos next to a large Christmas tree after it was lit at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity in West Bank town of Bethlehem,Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

A general view of Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, is seen during the annual lighting ceremony of a Christmas tree in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A Christian worshipper prays in the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011, ahead of Christmas. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A Palestinian girl lights a candle in the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011, ahead of Christmas. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

People watch fireworks during the annual lighting ceremony of a Christmas tree at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A Palestinian boy scout marching band plays during the annual lighting ceremony of a Christmas tree at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 15, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

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