Christmas in Palestine Program – 21-29 DEC 2019
Full-program including participation in the seasonal olive harvest, city tours and geopolitical reality tours to remote villages

During the Christmas season, Bethlehem in Palestine welcomes Christian worshipers from all denominations from all over the world. An estimated 10,000 were in the Square on Christmas Eve last year!  It is an exciting, colorful and lively time during which a message of hope is broadcast around the world by a large number of media agencies covering Manger Square in which the Church of the Nativity is found.

What will we do?

You are invited to take part in this unique experience with To Be There. We have a well-planned program providing you with opportunities to enjoy the Christmas season as well as gain an understanding of ancient and recent history, and how the occupation affects the lives and the future of Palestine and its people.  Topics which will be covered during your visit include Palestinian refugees, their  legal status and the hardships they face; Israeli settlement colonies which contribute to the forcible displacement of Palestinians and land theft; the treatment by Israel of Palestinian children and the documented violations of their rights; Palestinian political prisoners and their treatment under military law; the Israeli infrastructure of occupation and apartheid – walls, security zones, checkpoints and much more.

Why should we come?

Palestinians enjoy welcoming foreign guests to participate in the procession to the Church lead by Palestinian scout groups from all over Palestine and Israel accompanied by the music of horns, bagpipes, and drums. However, Christmas is experienced differently in Bethlehem, providing an example of how Palestinians enjoy such occasions while living under the Israeli military occupation which imposes severe hardships on the people, restricting their freedom of movement, their livelihoods, and economic and social well-being.  Sadly, the occupation and its policies have turned Bethlehem into a ghetto around which Israel continues to tighten the noose with its encroachment and development of settler colonies, ‘Jewish only’ restricted roads and security zones, checkpoints and military installations.  In fact, Israeli controls 90% of tourism into Bethlehem.  Christmas in Palestine is an opportunity to visit Palestine, to make a contribution to this vibrant community during the Holiday Season, and to witness the reality of occupation.

What should we bring to wear?

Winter in Palestine can be cold and sometimes wet so bring appropriate warm clothing and coats.  Bring appropriate shoes for comfortable walking.  For all those joining us on the olive tree planting day, come prepared for rain and wet earth with shoes appropriate for unpaved agriculture land.

Additional information

DestinationsBethlehem, Hebron, Jericho & The Jordan Valley, Jericho City, Jerusalem, Ramallah
GuidingGuided Tour
ActivityLearning, Tasting

Suggested Schedule

(please note that changes to this schedule are possible due to circumstances)

Day One December 21st Arrival
Day two December 22nd Introduction tour in Bethlehem including the Wall, settlements, checkpoints, refugee camp and Church of Nativity
Day Three December 23rd Visit the City of Hebron city and the South Hebron hills
Day Four December 24th Join the Christmas festivities in Star Street and in the Nativity Square in Bethlehem, Christmas eve dinner
Day Five December 25th Visit the old city of Jerusalem with a guide (history and religion) and after lunch a tour in Lifta
Day Six December 26th Spending the day planting olive trees with some Palestinian families
Day Seven December 27th Visit to Shepherds Fields in Beit Sahour, the Marsaba Monastery and Ramallah (the Arafat museum)
Day Eight December 28th A trip to Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, a Bedouin community at Khan al Ahmar and Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley
Day Nine December 29th Departure

We will have several lectures during afternoons or evenings regarding the political situation and human rights-focused on the Palestinian cause.

The fee for this visit is $1,000 (US Dollars) per person.

Fees will cover

  • Accommodation in a hotel on twin bases (you can request for a single room for an additional price)
  • 3 meals a day
  • Guides present at all times
  • Fees for lecturers and guest speakers
  • Transportation inside the West Bank and on the days designated for visits to Jerusalem and Hebron
  • A portion of the fees will be used for the purchase of sapling trees we will be planting

Fees will not cover – please note:

  • Fees do not cover the Ben Gurion airport transfer or transportation from and to the Jordanian boarder. You can either organize it yourself or request us for help. We can advice you on public transportation or arrange a private taxi for you to pick you up and take you straight to the hotel.
  • Fees do not cover any travel or medical insurance. You will be responsible for organizing your own insurance coverage for the trip and the duration of your stay.
  • Fees do not cover your travel and activities on free days and periods with the exception of breakfast and dinner provided by the hotel.
  • Fees do not cover any personal items, gifts or souvenirs you may wish to buy.