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Last Christmas was grim, Bethlehem hopes this year will be better

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By Zainah El-Haroun BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) – The trickle of tourists is sometimes scarcely enough to fill a manger, let alone an inn, but Bethlehem’s Palestinians are hopeful that numbers will rise in the month before Christmas. The traditional birthplace of Jesus was all but shuttered by the pandemic last year, ravaging the tourism-dependent economy and leading some hoteliers to consider selling up. But this year Israel has eased curbs on foreign tourists in time for Christmas, although everyone remains wary of a winter coronavirus wave. While grateful for the return of some foreign t…

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