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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Sun Dec 25 2016Israeli Forces Violently Subdue Holiday Santa Claus March
Sun Dec 25 2016Christmastime Protest Attempts to Cross Checkpoint Between Bethlehem and Jerusalem
On December 23, Israeli forces suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation.
A number of demonstrators participated in a march near Israeli checkpoint 300 which separates Bethlehem residents from Jerusalem. The march, which included participants dressed up as Santa Claus, close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and Occupation are Two Sides of the Same Coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is typically a time of year when Bethlehem receives droves of Christian tourists visiting the Nativity Church in the Old City. However, activists have pointed out that the tourism industry has severely declined, with Israeli authorities continuing to tighten control over the Palestinian movement, as the Israeli occupation now enters its 50th year.
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