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.