Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday conveyed a message of peace to the world ahead of Christmas, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
"Despite the suffering, injustice and oppression because of the Israeli military occupation of our land ... we are determined to celebrate the glorious Christmas and New Year, with a message of joy and peace to the rest of the world," Abbas said in a statement.
"I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the churches of the holy land that have given me the responsibility for overseeing the rehabilitation and restoration of the Church of the Nativity, which we have proudly accomplished," he added.
The city of Bethlehem has been as confirmed as the Capital of Arab Culture for the year 2020 when the restoration works at the Church of the Nativity in the city are completed.
Notably, the Church of the Nativity was successfully removed from the endangered world heritage sites of the UNESCO in July.
The Arab Capital of Culture is an initiative taken by the Arab League under the UNESCO Cultural Capitals Program to promote and celebrate Arab culture and encourage cooperation in the Arab region.
The southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, home to the Church of Nativity which is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is a main attraction to tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.
Abbas and top religious and political officials as well as diplomats from all over the world join the midnight mass at the Church of Nativity on Christmas eve every year.
A senior official of U.S. State Department said on Monday that Saudi Arabia's sentencing of five people to death over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "an important step" to hold the perpetrators accountable.
"Today's verdicts were an important step in holding those responsible for the terrible crime accountable," the official said in a press briefing anonymously.
"We've encouraged Saudi Arabia to undertake a fair and transparent judicial process, and we will continue to do so," the official added.
Saudi Public Prosecution earlier in the day announced that five people had been sentenced to death over the case of Khashoggi, and three others were given jail terms.
Spokesperson of the Saudi Public Prosecution Shalaan Al Shalaan noted that the former Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmed al-Asiri was released for insufficient evidence. Saud al-Qahtani, the advisor at the Royal Court, was investigated in the case but was not charged.
Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018, and a number of top Saudi officials were arrested in connection with the case. The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also ordered to restructure the intelligent authority.
Hong Kong police seized 12 replica guns and other offensive weapons and arrested four people on Monday afternoon in Yuen Long, police said in a statement on Tuesday.
Police from the organized crime and triad bureau busted a metal-sheet house at about 5:00 p.m. Monday, police said in the statement.
Two males and two females inside the house were arrested for possession of imitation firearm and offensive weapon, theft of auto, and possession of instrument for smoking narcotics.
Police also found a stolen car and seized a watermelon knife, a katana, a stretchable baton and two iron bars inside it. The case is still under investigation.
UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock on Monday condemned the attacks over the weekend on the premises of three international humanitarian organizations in Yemen.
The attacks by unknown individuals in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday in Al Dhale in southwest Yemen represent an alarming escalation in the risks faced by humanitarian workers in the war-torn country, Lowcock said in a statement.
Twelve organizations have now been forced to suspend aid programs in Al Dhale, which will affect 217,000 locals. Several organizations are working with local staff to ensure the most essential activities can continue, he said.
"I condemn these attacks unreservedly. I urge a thorough investigation, and I express my appreciation to the government of Yemen for the work they have begun in this regard."
He also voiced grave concern over the continuation of media campaigns in parts of Yemen that spread rumors and incitement against aid operations.
Humanitarian agencies reach more than 12 million people every month in Yemen and rely on the authorities to ensure a safe, enabling environment for humanitarian operations across the country, said Lowcock.
The attacks over the weekend wounded one person and damaged property.
Russian officials say a top-of-the-line fighter jet has crashed on a training mission but that its pilot bailed out safely.
Russia's United Aircraft Corporation said in a statement Tuesday that the Su-57 fighter came down during a training flight near Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the country's far east. It said the plane's pilot safely ejected and there was no damage on the ground.
The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known.
The Su-57, which made its maiden flight in 2010, is Russia's most advanced fighter plane. It has stealth capability and carries sophisticated equipment and weapons. The twin-engine aircraft has been designed by the Sukhoi company to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.
The crash marks the first loss of a Su-57, 10 of which have been built at Sukhoi's plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur for pre-production tests and combat evaluation. Some of them have been flown in combat during Russia's military campaign in Syria.
The Russian air force has placed an order for 76 such aircraft to be delivered by 2028.