Thousands of Christian pilgrims on Tuesday flocked to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, celebrating Christmas Eve in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
Clergymen participate in Christmas celebrations outside the Church of the Nativity, on Christmas Eve, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, on December 24, 2019. (AP)
At midday Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, crossed an Israeli army checkpoint from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, where he was greeted by prominent members of Bethlehem’s Christian community. He later celebrated Midnight Mass at the Church of Saint Catherine, part of the Church of the Nativity compound, which houses the grotto revered as Jesus’ birthplace.