At least 2000 Palestinians and Internationals joined the Candle Light
procession in the town of Beit Sahour on Christmas Day to light a
candle for the End of Violence, Unity of the Nation and the Lifting of
the Blockade imposed on the Palestinian people.

The march was organized by the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between people and is the first of its kind that is organized by the civil society organizations.

The march started at around 4 pm and was accompanied by local boy scout groups where the music was playing Christmas carols and songs calling for peace.

The marchers carried torches and candles and signs calling for the en of violence and end of the Israeli occupation to the Palestinian land and the removal of the separation wall.

The parade arrived at the hall of the main church in town where the crowed were welcomed by the march organizers.  Following the Palestinian National Anthem that was played Bag pipers of the boy scouts of the Arab Orthodox Club, the Pax-Christi Netherlands choir chanted some Christmas Carols. 

The Mayor of Beit Sahour, Mr. Hani El-Hayek spoke to the crowed saying that the march is an example of unity among the Palestinian People.
“In Gaza they were fighting, and here in Beit Sahour we are marching hand in hand in unity,” said Mr. El-Hayek.

The National Follow up committee which represents all the Palestinian factions and the civil society organizations in Beit Sahour issued a statement in which the committee stressed several issues including the immediate end to all forms of infighting called for the unity of the Palestinian people.  The statement also called for an immediate release of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Lutfi Abu Hasheesh the coordinator of the committee said, the infighting and the internal violence in Palestine is a crime against the nation and the cause.

This march came after clashes that erupted between Hamas and Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip and some areas of the West Bank, which claimed the lives of several Palestinians, including three children, following the call of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for early elections over a week ago.

The clashes continued but with less intensity between Hamas and Fatah after the two parties declared a truce few days ago.

The procession is an annual activity that is being organized since 1991.  The first march was titled, Light a Candle for Peace and Justice" and was a joint Palestinian-Israeli activity during the first intifada.