The town of Bethlehem won’t have a Christmas display this year. Instead, Jesus’ birthplace in the West Bank will honor Palestinian "martyrs.""Bethlehem Municipality crews announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city's neighbourhoods and removing all festive appearances in honor of the martyrs and in solidarity with our people in Gaza," the Bethlehem Municipality announced on Facebook Tuesday. No Christmas trees or decorative lights will be on display in Bethlehem's Manger Square, said to be the location of the manger for the newborn Jesus some 2,000 years ago. This is the first occasion in modern times when such acknowledgements were cancelled.A municipal spokesman said the decision to dismantle the nativity scene and other Christmas decorations was made due to "the general situation in Palestine" and the Israel-Hamas war."People are not really into any celebration," a spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post. "They are sad, angry and upset. Our people in Gaza are being massacred and killed in cold blood." Hamas launched an attack October 7 that killed move than 1,400 Israelis, and abducted more than 240 others. In response, Israel launched airstrikes and a ground offensive in Gaza. Israeli efforts to eradicate Hamas continue.Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. The Gaza Health Ministry claims more than 11,000 people have been killed since the war began. The United Nations World Health Organization voiced concern women and children are "bearing the brunt" of the casualties. Amid calls for a ceasefire, Israel maintains it has the right to defend itself from further attacks by eliminating Hamas. Israel Defense Forces claim they are trying their best to minimize civilian casualties and accuse Hamas of using civilians as human shields. A Christmas "mass and prayer" service will still be held in Bethlehem, a town of 25,000 people roughly six miles south of Jerusalem. The National Catholic Reporter notes Bethlehem was 86% Christian in 1950, but in 2016, that figure stood at 12%. The Christmas celebration in Bethlehem dates back at least as far as the early 20th century during British rule in the Palestine region. Israel, and especially Bethlehem, attract about one million pilgrims and tourists during the Christmas season.On Twitter ("X"), journalist Assaf Gibor reported some Christians in Bethlehem and Jerusalem are "angry at the Palestinian Authority" for the decision to suspend most Christmas celebrations.During the height of the pandemic, tourism and archaeological sites in the West Bank were temporarily shut down, including the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.Catherine Salgado, a journalist who contributes to PJ Media and other conservative outlets, criticized the decision to remove Christmas displays in Gaza. "Imagine the outcry if Jerusalem or Rome had sent crews to Muslim neighborhoods before Ramadan to remove Islamic symbols!" she wrote. "But even though Jews and Christians are the most persecuted religious groups and Islam is among the most intolerant of religions, don't expect global backlash and outrage.""What makes this Christmas cancellation so particularly disturbing is that it is in honour of the 'martyrs,' which is Palestinian double-speak for 'terrorists killed by Israelis,'" she continued."The heinous October 7 Hamas terrorist attack left hundreds of Israelis dead and forced Israeli authorities to come to grips with the reality that Arabs have been refusing peace in favor of trying to destroy Israel for decades, and they're not going to change their minds now."