Muslim Mayor of Nazareth Backtracks After Canceling Christmas Over Trump Jerusalem Announcement

Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, has canceled some Christmas celebrations in protest at U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, an official said. "The decision [by Trump about Jerusalem] has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel the festivities this year".

Initial reports following the mayor's press conference said the Christmas Market in Nazareth was cancelled.

The city's Christmas celebrations bring many tourists to the city, which is mainly inhabited by Israeli Arabs, two-thirds of whom are Muslim and the rest Christian.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in central Nazareth is located on a site that many Christians believe was the childhood home of Mary, Jesus' mother, Reuters noted.

Reuters pointed out that the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, also briefly switched off its Christmas lights last week in protest.

He described his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel's government as merely based on reality.

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On Wednesday, a city spokesman said there would be some cuts to the celebrations to protest against President Donald Trump's decision on Jerusalem that angered Palestinians as well as US allies in the Middle East and the rest of the world. But the claim is not recognised by the global community or Palestinians. The holy city, the Palestinians insist, is "Palestinian" and must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Obama, a Democrat, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2008 that Jerusalem "will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided".

Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

"We have chose to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem", added city spokesperson Salem Sharara. It is also one of the key elements of contention in the Israel-Palestine peace talks.

The Palestinians' chief representative to Britain, Manuel Hassassian during a press with media blasted the American leader's decision to move the USA embassy.

  • Sonia Alvarado