Israeli soldiers tear gas Santa during Christmas-themed protest in Palestine

Israeli soldiers have fired tear gas, pepper spray and stun grenades at Palestinians calling for free movement between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

The Electronic Intifada reports that a Christmas-themed protest was held in front of Checkpoint 300 on Friday, where Israeli soldiers control Palestinian movement between the occupied West Bank cities.

Approximately 100 protesters, some of them dressed in Santa Claus suits, chanted against Israel’s military occupation and for Palestinian freedom.

Palestinians and their supporters highlight around Christmas time that if Joseph and Mary were to make their journey from Nazareth today, Israel’s military checkpoints and massive concrete wall would prevent them from accessing the Bethlehem manger where tradition holds Jesus Christ was born.

Israel’s wall completely encircles Bethlehem, as do its settlement colonies, turning a once vibrant Palestinian cultural center and international tourist destination into a shuttered ghetto.

Video by Keren Manor/

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