Palestinians have put off Christmas lights at Jesus’ traditional birthplace in Bethlehem, after US recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Donald Trump had on Wednesday announced his country’s recognition of the disputed city as Israeli capital.
Trump also announced the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.
Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East have condemned the U.S. decision. They called it an incendiary move in a volatile region.
The tree adorned with lights outside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity – reported to be Jesus’ birthplace – as well as another in Ramallah, close to the burial site of former Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, were plunged into darkness.
“The Christmas tree was switched off on the order of the mayor today in protest at Trump’s decision,” said Bethlehem’s municipal media officer, Fady Ghattas.
According to him, it is unclear if the light would be turned on before the Yuletide.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu says the move signaled the beginning of a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said it was an “historic landmark”.