Christmas Spirit in Bethlehem


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Bethlehem was a city under Israeli control until the Oslo Accords in the nineties when it became Palestinian. Today there are mainly Muslims and Christians living there, giving it more Christmas atmosphere than I had seen anywhere in Israel.
In the city center where was a huge Christmas tree, decorated with a Palestinian flag on top and Christmas lights were hanging over the streets. Although a popular site for pilgrims and other tourists it was pretty quiet and me and two Eastern Europeans I had met on the bus the same morning were on our own to explore the city.
First of we went to see the churches including a white one, which is said to have gotten it’s color from Maria giving milk to baby Jesus there. Right outside there was also a fake Starbucks shop, selling tourists regular coffee to Starbucks prices, just like the fake Burger King restaurant I saw in Ramallah the day before.
Th wall was also quite present in the city and a lot of time was spent walking next to it and looking at all the street art. There was even one made by the World famous street artist Banksy, where a woman had made her shop around it selling spray cans to everyone who wanted to have a go at the wall.

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