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Nazareth Christmas celebrations will probably be held as regular…

Nazareth Christmas celebrations will probably be held as regular…”

The residents of Nazareth are primarily Arab citizens of Israel.

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth - the town where Jesus grew up - has announced he is cancelling Christmas events over U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "The decision [by Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year". It's one of the Holy Land's most important sites for Christmas festivities, each year, drawing tens of thousands of visitors. Yet the president has managed to dampen the Christmas spirit on the other side of the world with his offensive, widely panned decision on Jerusalem.

Festivities in the mostly-Muslim town in Israel will go on mostly as planned, contrary to what mayor Ali Salam said in a press conference on Thursday.

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Mr Trump announced the move last week, reversing decades of United States policy and recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, jeopardising Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

Arab and European leaders warned ahead of the announcement that formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would push the talks further off track.

The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem where Jesus is traditionally believed to be born and Ramallah in the illegally occupied West Bank briefly turned off their Christmas lights in protest as well. The status of Jerusalem is at the center of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians because the city is sacred to Judaism and Islam. Some 70 per cent of the population is Muslim and around 30 per cent are Christians, reflecting the importance of Nazareth to followers of that faith.

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It comes amid a backlash across the region after Mr Trump announced he would begin the process of shifting the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, after symbolically recognising it as the capital of the country.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, welcomed Trump's decision as "a new and genuine milestone in the glorious history of this city". Muslims oppose the move as they see East Jerusalem as a future capital for Palestine. Israel's I-24 News also reported this move.

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