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Abbas' hope at Bethlehem Christmas mass

Abbas' hope at Bethlehem Christmas mass
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The Palestinian president took part in a Christmas Eve mass in Bethlehem at the Church of Nativity, believed by many to be the spot where Christ was born.

Mahmoud Abbas, himself a Muslim, takes part every year in the Christian service joining hundreds of pilgrims from around the world.

At a Christmas dinner before the mass Abbas spoke of his hopes for the year to come.

“I wish for the Palestinian people that next year will be the year that peace will be implemented in the occupied Palestinian lands,” he said. “We, my brothers, believe in peace and are working to implement peace.”

His comments came just days after rival Palestinian factions took a significant step towards reconciliation with preparations to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestine Liberation Organisation.