As Jesus was born in Bethlehem, thousands of pilgrims every year visit the city every year to celebrate one of the most important holiday seasons in the holy land of Palestine. However, this year has been filled with political intensification and losses.
The Palestinian minister of Tourism, Rula Ma’ayah told PNN that during the year of 2015, about 2.2 million tourists visited Palestine. The overnight stays for Christmas day have reached 7,500, but in comparison to previous year, that is not a great number, since last years had almost a doubled number.
Local shop owners have also said that their sales have been decreased to about 50% because of the sharp drop of number of tourists during the high season of October and November.
The reasons for that is the political situation, and the Israeli choke-hold over entrance to the occupied Palestinian land.
Since the beginning of October 2015, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli Occupation Forces, and thousands injured. On the Israeli side, about 21 settlers have been killed.