Over 1,000 children have marched through Bethlehem to mark the start of Christmas in the West Bank city. The “Children Without Borders” event is held annually, and this year they walked to Nativity Square from the John Paul II Institute. Clowns and Santa Clauses were in attendance, as well as members of clergy and Palestinian Authority officials. Even a few camels were brought in. Bethlehem mayor Victor Batarseh welcomed the children and told them “you are the leaders of the future, we gather you every year to learn the message of peace and love”. The head of the John Paul II institute, Father Ibrahim Faltas, said that the aim of the festival was to draw joy on the faces of children during Christmas. Minister of Tourism Khulud Deibes attended along with Batarseh and Faltas.