The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip says two men have died from wounds sustained in clashes with Israeli troops.
The deaths — that occurred along the Israeli border — raised the number of Palestinians killed in violence in Gaza and the West Bank to 12 since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem of Israel’s capital earlier this month.
Most of the deaths have occurred in Gaza, where protesters have been clashing with Israeli forces along the border fence.
Forces have used tear gas and live fire to disperse the crowds.
The two men who were reportedly killed over the weekend have been identified as Mohammed Dahdouh, 20, and Sharif Shalash, 28.
Also among the dead are two Hamas militants killed in an Israeli airstrike that was carried out in response to rocket fire from Gaza.
Holy Land Christmas celebrations scaled back in protest
In Bethlehem, it was a subdued Christmas Eve, with spirits dampened by the violence.
Crowds were thinner than previous years, with visitors deterred by clashes between the Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces.
Although there was no violence on Sunday, Palestinian officials scaled back the celebrations in protest.
Claire Degout, a tourist from France, said she would not allow Mr Trump’s pronouncement — which has infuriated the Palestinians and drawn widespread international opposition — affect her decision to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land — the historical birthplace of Jesus.
“The decision of one man cannot affect all the Holy Land,” she said.
“Jerusalem belongs to everybody, you know, and it will be always like that, whatever Trump says.”
Mr Trump abandoned decades of United States policy on December 6 by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and saying he would move the American embassy to the Holy City.
He said the move merely recognised the fact Jerusalem already served as Israel’s capital and that he was not prejudging negotiations on the city’s final borders.
But Palestinians — who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital — saw the declaration as unfairly siding with Israel.
The announcement triggered weeks of unrest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including near-daily clashes in Bethlehem, which lies just south of Jerusalem.
Christmas a ‘time to enjoy’ despite difficulties
By mid-afternoon Sunday (local time), hundreds of people had gathered in Manger Square near Bethlehem’s main Christmas for celebrations, greeted by bagpipe-playing young Palestinian marching bands and scout troops.
Accompanying the decorations was a large banner protesting Mr Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.
Bethlehem’s mayor, Anton Salman, said celebrations were toned down because of anger over the decision.
“We decided to limit the Christmas celebrations to the religious rituals as an expression of rejection and anger and sympathy with the victims who fell in the recent protests.”
Next to the square was a poster that read “Manger Square appeal” and “#handsoffjerusalem”.
“We want to show the people that we are people who deserve life, deserve our freedom, deserve our independence, deserve Jerusalem as our capital,” Mr Salman said.
The Most Reverend Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the apostolic administrator of Jerusalem and the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, crossed through an Israeli military checkpoint to enter Bethlehem from Jerusalem.
His black limousine was escorted by a group of men on motorcycles, some of them wearing red Santa hats.
He tried to steer clear of politics after last week rejecting the US decision.
He waved to the crowd, shook hands and hugged well-wishers as he walked to the Church of the Nativity, where he was to celebrate midnight mass.
“I already said the message. Now it’s time to enjoy,” he said.
“We as Christians we will enjoy, despite all the difficulties we have. Merry Christmas.”
James Thorburn, a visitor from London, said he was determined to enjoy the holiday and show solidarity with Bethlehem’s residents.
“I know that a lot of people did cancel,” he said.
“I felt I should come to support the Palestinians.”