NAZARETH – The city of Nazareth has canceled some of the planned Christmas events, festivals, and celebrations in a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel.
“We have decided to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem,” city spokesman Salem Sharara said, The Independent reported.
Known as “the Arab capital of Israel,” occupied Nazareth is also considered “the cradle of Christianity” where Jesus Christ is believed to be raised.
“Our identity and faith aren’t up for debate,” Ali Salam, the mayor of Nazareth, told the Times of Israel.
“The decision (by US President Donald Trump about Jerusalem) has taken away the joy of the holiday, and we will thus cancel festivities this year.”
Trump officially recognized Al-Quds as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6, shattering decades of US neutrality on the subject as it pertains to the centuries-long struggle between Israelites and Palestinians.
Within an hour of the announcement, the Palestinian towns of Bethlehem, Jesus’s traditional birthplace, and Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank briefly switched off their Christmas lights in protest.
The controversial decision also led to protests and clashes in several Palestinian areas last week, as well as demonstrations in other nations.
Israel occupied the holy city and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of the city, including systematic demolition of their homes and the building of illegal Israeli settlements.