Drone view of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve

Just 12 months ago, the Palestinian town was celebrating its busiest festive season for two decades, amid a sustained drop in violence and a corresponding surge in the number of pilgrims and tourists. But now, hotels that were adding new wings in 2019 are shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, town leaders say it will go ahead with its celebrations, aware that the world's eyes are upon it at this time of year.