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Pictures | Mon Dec 24, 2012 | 9:05pm IST

Christmas in Bethlehem

<p>A member of the clergy holds a cross as he waits for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A member of the clergy holds a cross as he waits for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012....more

A member of the clergy holds a cross as he waits for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A Palestinian girl watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside</p>

A Palestinian girl watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

A Palestinian girl watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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<p>The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (C) blesses the crowd outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (C) blesses the crowd outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (C) blesses the crowd outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A Palestinian woman dressed in traditional costume watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside</p>

A Palestinian woman dressed in traditional costume watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

A Palestinian woman dressed in traditional costume watches a Christmas parade outside the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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<p>The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (2nd R) waves upon his arrival to the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012, after crossing an Israeli checkpoint. Twal crossed from Jerusalem into Bethlehem through an Israeli checkpoint on Monday to attend a procession outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (2nd R) waves upon his arrival to the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012, after crossing an Israeli checkpoint. Twal crossed from Jerusalem into Bethlehem through an Israeli checkpoint on Monday...more

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (2nd R) waves upon his arrival to the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012, after crossing an Israeli checkpoint. Twal crossed from Jerusalem into Bethlehem through an Israeli checkpoint on Monday to attend a procession outside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>Orthodox Christian priests (R) wait for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal at the entrance of the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

Orthodox Christian priests (R) wait for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal at the entrance of the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012....more

Orthodox Christian priests (R) wait for the arrival of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal at the entrance of the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>Nigerian pilgrims sit inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside</p>

Nigerian pilgrims sit inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Nigerian pilgrims sit inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

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<p>Nigerian pilgrims pray in the grotto of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. The church is built over the grotto where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

Nigerian pilgrims pray in the grotto of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. The church is built over the grotto where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Nigerian pilgrims pray in the grotto of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. The church is built over the grotto where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A visitor leans on a column inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A visitor leans on a column inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A visitor leans on a column inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>Nigerian pilgrims visit the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

Nigerian pilgrims visit the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Nigerian pilgrims visit the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus rings a bell in the West Bank town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus rings a bell in the West Bank town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus rings a bell in the West Bank town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A nun walks through the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A nun walks through the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A nun walks through the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A Greek Orthodox priest walks inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A Greek Orthodox priest walks inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A Greek Orthodox priest walks inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A visitor photographs herself inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A visitor photographs herself inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A visitor photographs herself inside the Church of Nativity, the site revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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<p>A man cleans a chandelier inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad</p>

A man cleans a chandelier inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A man cleans a chandelier inside the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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