An estimated 90,000 faithful are expected to converge on the central West Bank town of Bethlehem to attend the midnight Christmas Mass.

The main rituals will take place at the Church of the Nativity, which is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Latin Patriarch Fuad Twal, who is the senior most Catholic bishop in the region, will be conducting the Mass.

A decorated 50-ft (15 metres) Christmas tree is installed at the Manger Square. Hotels and outlets selling memorabilia in the area are doing brisk business.

In addition to Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox and Armenians also conduct separate services. While Catholics conduct their service at St. Catherine's Church, Protestants organise their Mass at the Shepherd's Field.

Traditionally, local schoolchildren march on the streets of Bethlehem on the Christmas eve.

This Palestinian city is now surrounded by barriers erected by Israeli authorities, apparently to prevent any disruptions from suspected militants. But local residents complain that the barriers are hampering their economy.

We present latest pictures from the Holy City:

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (L) waves as he leaves a reception in Jerusalem heading to the Church of the Nativity to attend Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem on 24 December.Reuters
A craftsman giving final touch to souvenirs made of olive tree in the Holy City. Thousands of tourists are expected to attend the celebrations in the city.Reuters
A general view of Manger Square is seen during the annual lighting ceremony of a Christmas tree in Bethlehem.Reuters