Santa Claus Attends Demonstration in South Betlehem

22 December 2007

This Friday Palestinians young and old wore red and white Santa Claus hats during their weekly demonstration against the Annexation Barrier, which is being constructed on their land. The people of Um Salamuna and Al-Mas’ara gathered with Israeli and international supporters at the entrance to Um Salamuna to again march along the road in protest of the confiscation of their agricultural land by the Israeli military. However, underlining the peaceful nature of the march by wearing festive costumes was not enough to prevent a heavy-handed response by the Israeli military, who attempted to prevent the people from marching along the road as they had for the past two weeks. The demonstrators attempted to push through the line of soldiers to march along the road and one Palestinian man, Hussan, was arrested and put in the back of a military jeep. Father Christmas (AKA Santa Claus) then addressed the crowd, emphasizing the communities’ commitment to remain steadfast on their land and continue the non-violent resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Members of the Popular Committee then negotiated for the release of the prisoner and the demonstrators agreed to disperse once he was let go.