Worshippers turn out for Christmas morning mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
Hundreds, including tourists from around the world, arrived early on Friday (December 25) at the Church of the Nativity Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas morning mass. The mass at the West Bank chapel was led by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, who also led midnight mass, attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah. Fuad Twal made his way through the Bethlehem checkpoint at the Israeli built separation barrier on Thursday, on his way to lead Christmas festivities in the West Bank town. The religious leader sent greetings to the Catholic world and called for peace in the region. Since October, the region has seen a campaign of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings by Palestinians that has killed 20 Israelis and a U.S. citizen. Israeli forces or armed civilians have killed at least 122 Palestinians, 74 of whom authorities described as assailants, while others died in clashes with security forces.