The Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, toured the Bethlehem district , southern West Bank, on Sunday, marking the start of Christmas celebrations.

In the town of Beit Jala, Fayyad was welcomed by families and kids with Santa Claus costumes. In nearby Beit Sahour Fayyad was welcomed by local bands and families.

The Mayor of Beit Sahour, Mr. Hanni Al Hayiak, welcomed Fayyad and thanked him for his donations to decorate the town for Christmas. Al Hayiak also thanked the USAID for their efforts in today’s celebration

In addition to Fayyad, his Excellency Michael Sabah, the Patriarch of the Latin Church, joined the celebration. Sabah wished for peace in the holy land.

In his turn Fayyad wished local Christian families a joyful Christmas and wished for a better future, Fayyad also wished that next year Palestinians will mark Christmas as an independent nation with Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

After the speeches were ended Fayyad and the Mayor of Beit sahour lit up the Christmas tree.