Palestinian activists have decorated a Christmas tree with leftover Israeli tear gas canisters and stun grenades in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The activists garnished the tree in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on Tuesday in a symbolic move to show their anger at Tel Aviv’s atrocities in the occupied territories, said Farid al-Atrash, the head of the independent commission for human rights in the south.
The leftover tear gas canisters and stun grenades had been used by Israeli forces during clashes with Palestinians in the city.
“The world has to move to save the Palestinian people and hold the occupation accountable for its crimes against unarmed people in Palestine,” al-Atrash said.
In a separate incident in the day, Israeli forces fired tear gas to disperse the Palestinian protesters dressed as Santa Claus in the city.
The protesters were marching towards a checkpoint connecting the ancient city to East Jerusalem al-Quds Jerusalem.
The Palestinian demonstrators carried signs reading, “Jesus came with a message of: Peace, Freedom and Justice” and “We want Christmas without occupation.”
Tensions have been running high for over a month in the West Bank and East al-Quds over the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli troops and the recent killing of a Palestinian minister in the occupied West Bank.
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The al-Aqsa mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.