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Tourists celebrate Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

People and Christian pilgrims from around the world arrived at the square outside Bethlehem's Church of Nativity on Sunday , ahead of Christmas Eve celebrations in the site believed to be Jesus' place of birth.

Earlier in the day, the acting Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa arrived in the West Bank town of Bethlehem to kick off Christmas festivities and lead the Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity.

Bethlehem has seen violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters in recent weeks in the wake of Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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