The West Bank town of Bethlehem has marked the beginning of the holiday season with the lighting a Christmas tree and fireworks over Manger Square.  

Hundreds of Palestinians and pilgrims gathered in the square for the annual tree lighting ceremony.

This in the heart of the town where Christ was said to be born.

Mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboon said: 

"The message of Bethlehem is specifically in this year that we have the solidarity, we urge all the people through our message, that we need that solidarity because we only need on this Christmas- justice."

The start of the holiday season was marked with fireworks over the Church of the Nativity.

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