Nazareth cancels Christmas celebrations over Trump's Israel decision

Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, says it will tone down its Christmas celebrations this year in protest against President Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

"Our identity and faith aren't up for debate ..."

The statement also said that the Trump speech took away "all joy" from the upcoming holidays, implying there was no point in celebrating.

Tensions have risen recently as a result of US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last Wednesday. Christmas Eve is much celebrated in Nazareth, the town of the Galilee where Jesus is believed to have grown up, despite of predominantly Muslim town, Christmas celebration is strongly participated.

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Reuters reports that Nazareth isn't the only town to protest the move; 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.

But this year the mayor determined that the situation in the region is too fraught for joy because of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Ismail Haniya said: "We demand the Islamic world make every Friday a day of anger and revolution in every capital and city until we bring down Trump's decision".

Jerusalem is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims and is a contentious part of Israel-Palestinian negotiations. ISIS threatened war on US soil in response to the decision, and a group of Muslim leaders in 57 countries denounced Trump's move.

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The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, and condemned by the vast majority of the global community.

Many Israeli leaders support Trump's decision, claiming that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by Trump sparked a wave of outrage in the Arab world, even though he still signed a six-months waiver which has delayed the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem since a 1995 Congress vote in favor of the move. The Christian savior also grew up in the town, according to the New Testament.

Hamas, meanwhile, said the decision "opens the gates of hell" and called for several days of protests.

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  • Ryan Wade