Unemployment has shrunk to 23 percent and hotel capacity is often around 100 percent these days, so things are looking up for Bethlehem says the head of the city's chamber of commerce and industry board
There may not be much fun and yuletide merriment this Christmas, as Father Christmas may not make it over the Separation Wall. A new Christmas Card produced by the charity the Amos Trust, features Father Christmas walking along the barrier.
As many Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Advent and Christmas in the security of their homes and communities, they are being invited to pray for justice, peace and security for Palestine and Israel - and to send a prayer or a peace message to Bethlehem.
Bethlehem participants in a global week of church advocacy are inviting individuals and groups around the world to send them wishes and prayers for peace. Incoming emails will be shared with parishes, schools and organizations in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
As international calls for justice for Bethlehem mount again at Christmastide, Australian church leaders returned from a visit to their region have added their voices to those supporting the beleagured city of Jesus' birth.
An all-star concert in London on 7 December 2007 will highlight the plight of the people of Bethlehem this Christmas, as they live in social isolation and impoverishment as a result of the separation wall built by Israel.
Nearly 40 leaders from a broad coalition of US Christian denominations have sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking that he "make Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace initiative" a priority for his administration.