Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called Jesus Christ as a 'Palestinian' messenger in his Christmas message.
He said Jesus was a "Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions." However, Palestinian authorities clarified that Abbas referred to Jesus in a historical context. It was applied to everyone from the Holy Land during the time. They noted he did not mean it from a religious perspective.
Abbas also called Jesus as a Palestinian role model. His Christmas message also claimed that Palestinians try their best to follow Jesus' example of hope, justice and peace. At the same time, Israel restrictions over Palestinians' entry was criticized in the message. The Palestinian President also criticized the security barrier of the West Bank by calling it "steals land."
Majority of the people in Palestine are Sunni Muslims. However, Yassef Arafat, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, emphasized on the unity between the Christians and the Muslims in the country.
Abbas, a Muslim, is expected to attend the Christmas at Bethlehem on Tuesday. He said Pope Francis' March visit to the Holy Land would be a great opportunity for Christians to come closer to their Palestinian brothers and sisters. He added it was his commitment to bring peace to the region. The establishment and the occupation of sovereign Palestinian State can end through negotiations with Israel.
Meanwhile, the request by a Christian lawmaker to display a Christmas tree in the building of the parliament of Israel has been rejected by the speaker. However, the connection between the rejection and the Jewish character of Israel has been disproved. It was reported that displaying a Christmas tree until Jan. 7 (Orthodox Christmas) is going to be "too long." The Parliamentarian is allowed to display the Christmas tree in the conference room of his party and in his office.
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