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Pilgrims Celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem

Christian pilgrims pray at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on Dec. 25, 2005.
Musa Al-Shaer/Getty Images
Christian pilgrims pray at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on Dec. 25, 2005.

Thousands of pilgrims defy an icy rain to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, the West Bank town where tradition holds Jesus was born. City officials expect the turnout will be the largest since the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. They attribute the increased visits to less violence following the Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

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Linda Gradstein
Linda Gradstein has been the Israel correspondent for NPR since 1990. She is a member of the team that received the Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the team that received Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for her coverage of the Gulf War. Linda spent 1998-9 as a Knight Journalist Fellow at Stanford University.

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