Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent video Christmas greetings from Jerusalem on Christmas Eve.
"Merry Christmas to all our Christian friends around the world from Jerusalem. This is 'Jerusalem of Gold,'" he said, referring to a popular Israeli song. "Now it's Jerusalem of Snow," he said, standing outside wearing a heavy coat and scarf.
"We celebrate Christmas with you, we know the importance you attach to our common heritage, to the state of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, where so much of our common history was forged," he said.
"We have a great past, we have common values, we have the desire to seize a common future of security, prosperity, and peace. So, from the city of peace, Jerusalem, I send the warmest Christmas greetings to all of you. Merry Christmas."
The Times of Israel
noted that 160,000 Christians live in Israel and that thousands attend Midnight Mass and visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, thought to be the site of Jesus' birth.
Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified, is considered holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and both Israelis and Palestinians claim it as their capital.
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