Muslim mayor of Nazareth uses Christmas to protest US' Jerusalem move

Muted Christmas in Nazareth in Protest Against Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

Muted Christmas in Nazareth in Protest Against Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

The Muslim mayor of Nazareth - the town where Jesus grew up - has announced he is cancelling Christmas events over U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We have chose 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, Reuters reported.

"Reports that Christmas events were canceled this year are incorrect", said Ali Salam who is mayor of the town in northern Israel.

This year's Christmas market and festival will not be taking place, however, as Muslim political and world leaders continue condemning Trumps' decision from last week.

The Palestinian towns of Bethlehem where Jesus is traditionally believed to be born and Ramallah in the illegally occupied West Bank briefly turned off their Christmas lights in protest as well.

"God is weeping over President Donald Trump's inflammatory and discriminatory recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel", Tutu, an outspoken advocate for Palestinians, said.

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Approximately 69 percent of the Arab town's 76,000 inhabitants are Muslims and 30 percent are Christians.

Trump argued that he is recognizing historical reality with his announcement that the U.S.is to begin a process of moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Obama, a Democrat, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2008 that Jerusalem "will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided".

The Palestinian leadership, Fatah and Hamas, claims the Jewish people have falsified their 3,000 year-old history to lay claim to Jerusalem. It is also one of the key elements of contention in the Israel-Palestine peace talks. The holy city, the Palestinians insist, is "Palestinian" and must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

It angered the Arab world, amid further plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, the local administration has already walked back his aggressive position somewhat, conceding "there are commercial interests of the city and we are used to hundreds of thousands [of Christians] coming for this season".

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