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Bethlehem tree lights switched on

1 December 2013 Last updated at 18:04 GMT

The Christmas lights have been turned on at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in front of a crowd of thousands.

Pilgrims from all over the world gathered to see the tree, decorated with some 45,000 lights and more than 6,000 baubles, outside the church where Jesus is believed to have been born.

Yolande Knell reports from Bethlehem.