Photos: Santa Claus Protest in Bethlehem

Palestinian protesters disguised as Santa Claus march during clashes between Palestinian youths and the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, December 18, 2015. More than 110 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of October, while at least 17 Israelis have been killed in the same period. More than 12,000 Palestinians and 200 Israelis were injured. More than 2,000 Palestinians including at least 350 children were arrested in the same period, according to Adameer.

Photos: Santa Claus Protest in Bethlehem

December 19, 2015

One week before the traditional Christmas celebrations which attract many worshippers, tourists and international media attention, Palestinians disguised as Santa Claus marched towards the Israeli Separation Wall in Bethlehem. The march took place during clashes between Palestinian youths and the Israeli occupation army.

The Santa Claus protesters shouted slogans against the occupation. One of the posters read “Palestinian Christians and Muslims pray for this Christmas to be the last under occupation”.

Once protesters reached the Wall and confronted the army, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at them, and clashes with the Palestinian youths resumed. The Israeli army used scores of tear gas canisters, rubber-coated metal bullets, and live ammunition. At least three Palestinians were injured by live ammunition.

Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
Protesters reach the Israeli Separation Wall and shout slogans against the occupation.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
An Israeli soldier aims his weapon through a window towards the protesters, below posters against the occupation put up by protesters.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
Clashes in front of the Wall, which runs deep inside Bethlehem’s municipal boundaries in this location, have been recurrent since the beginning of October.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
Since the beginning of October, more than 110 Palestinians were killed, and at least 17 Israelis, and more than 12,000 Palestinians and 200 Israelis were injured.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
A Palestinian disguised as Santa Claus stops an Israeli military jeep. The Santa Claus protest occurs just one week before the Christmas celebrations which attract many worshippers and tourists to Bethlehem.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
Bethlehem usually attracts visitors in this season, but there has seen a sharp decline in the number visitors because of the current tensions.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
An Israeli army jeep throws scores of tear gas canisters during clashes with Palestinian youths, reaching the inhabitants of the adjacent Al-Azzeh and Aida refugee camps.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
A Palestinian throws stones at the Israeli occupation army. On October 13, 27-year-old Moataz Zawahreh, from Deheishe refugee camp, was killed at the same location by live ammunition.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
A Palestinian family attempt to reach their home during the clashes.
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A Palestinian disguised as Santa Claus gives food to a fellow protester.
Bethlehem clashes, 18.12.2015
At least three Palestinians were injured by live ammunition during these clashes.