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Drone footage shows Bethlehem empty on Orthodox Christmas eve

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The streets around Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, normally bustling with worshipers and tourists at this time of year are empty on the eve of the Eastern Orthodox Christmas, drone footage on Saturday showed.

As with the December 25 Christmas, the war in Gaza has all but canceled the Orthodox celebrations at the site Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

There is no Christmas tree either nor any festive decorations.

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The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, is scheduled to arrive in Bethlehem on Saturday to lead the Christmas mass according to the Eastern calendar.

The Orthodox church celebrates Christmas Day on January 7.

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