14 injured as Palestinian 'Santas' clash with Israeli police in Bethlehem (VIDEO)
A large group of Palestinians dressed as Santa Claus marched down the West Bank city of Bethlehem, protesting Israel’s policies. The event has led to a clash with Israel’s security forces, resulting in at least 14 Palestinians being injured.
There were several dozen who took part, some wearing gas masks and holding up banners as they marched on Saturday in a Papa Noel procession. The demonstration took place near the Israeli barrier of the West Bank city.
Some even offered candy to the Israeli police, who formed a line at the border, as reporters snapped photos. But this could not stop the two sides from clashing. Other men later joined the Santas, wearing scarves for masks, and hurled objects at the Israelis.
This led to a police advance on the rioting Palestinians, who retreated in a cloud of tear gas. Stun grenades and rubber bullets were also used, according to RUPTLY.
Last year a similar event ended in violence and arrests, as about 80 Palestinians took to the streets of Bethlehem to protest Israeli occupation.