During a Christmas eve celebration in Bethlehem, a fight ensued after Palestinian protesters demanded to be allowed to visit Jerusalem to pray.
During the battle, Palestinian protesters dressed up like Santa Claus were tear gassed by the Israeli Army as they attempted to break through the barrier to reach the nearby birthplace of Jesus.
Demonstrators said they wanted to visit the holy site, but were told that without the proper permits, they would not be allowed access.
The altercation was caught on video at the Bethlehem checkpoint, in which one man in a Santa suit was seen throwing a tear gas grenade back at Israelis and another was lying on the floor after breathing in the harsh gas.
Fareed al Atrash, one of the determined demonstrators, said, “We are here today in order to reach Jerusalem for religious rituals. We want to reach the Palestinian capital Jerusalem and we want to say that this land is a Palestinian land and it is our right to reach our lands.”
Monther Amirah, the organizer of the demonstration, said, “We are in this protest to say that the occupation and the terrorism are two faces of the same coin and we want to say to the whole world that the Palestinians are facing organized terrorism from the occupation and that we will continue to resist this Nazi occupation.”
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, but the Palestinians want the land as well as East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. In 2014, peace talks between the sides broke down.
In Bethlehem, Christmas preparations were in full effect with marching bands and clergy participating in a parade through the streets.
H/T: The Daily Mail
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