Bethlehem welcomes Christmas tourists after pandemic lull


              Palestinian vendors wait for clients next to the Christmas tree in Manger Square, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, ahead of Christmas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              Tourists visit the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              People take pictures of the Christmas tree and nativity scene in Manger Square, outside to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, ahead of Christmas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              Tourists visit a gift shop in Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, ahead of Christmas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              ourists take pictures with the Christmas tree in Manger Square, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, ahead of Christmas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              Tourists walk by a section of Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              A Christmas tree decorates Manger Square, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, ahead of Christmas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              A Palestinian craftsman carves a figurine of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, at the beginning of the Christmas season, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              Palestinians visit the decorated Manger Square ahead of Christmas, outside to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
            
              An Ethiopian woman and her child visit the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. Business in Bethlehem is looking up this Christmas as the traditional birthplace of Jesus recovers from a two-year downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. Streets are already bustling with visitors, stores and hotels are fully booked and a recent jump in Israeli-Palestinian fighting appears to be having little effect on the vital tourism industry. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
Bethlehem welcomes Christmas tourists after pandemic lull