Mayor: Nazareth Christmas celebrations will be held as normal

Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem January 2014

Mayor Ali Salam, who once made the curious boast that U.S. President Donald Trump "learned everything from me" about how to win elections, indicated that he was punishing local and visiting Christians as revenge for the President's decision to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "[Trump's] decision has taken away the joy of the holiday and we will cancel the festivities this year".

Nazareth's market stalls and traditional Christmas church services will be held as normal, Sharara noted, according to the outlet.

Nazareth's Muslim Mayor Ali Salam told Reuters on Saturday that Christmas celebrations will continue as planned, though three singers who were supposed to perform will not appear.

Nazareth, the town in current-day Israel where Jesus Christ is said to have been raised, canceled all Christmas celebrations this year, saying that President Donald Trump had taken the joy out of the holiday.

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.

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. About 70 percent are Muslim and 30 percent Christian. Palestinians maintain that Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state. "This shows the world that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not up for negotiation, and America is and shall always remain a loyal ally of Israel".

"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.

Since Trump's controversial announcement last week, at least 12 rockets or mortars have been fired from Gaza towards Israel.

He told the BBC: "He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims (and) hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel".

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