World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian and Israeli activists dressed as Santa Claus' protested the separation barrier Israel is building across the West Bank and clashed with Israeli forces on Christmas Eve in the West Bank village of Bil’in, west of Ramallah.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the Santa Clauses.
According to Palestinian news agengy Maan, demonstrators carried a Christmas tree decorated with spent gas canisters and stun grenades fired by Israeli soldiers at previous demonstrations over the past five years.
The weapon-garnished tree was carried in support of Abdullah Abu Rahme the coordinator of the Bil’in Committee Against the Wall and Settlements.
Rahme is currently in military prison and is being charged with "holding lethal and dangerous weapons" for keeping and creatively exhibiting discharged tear gas canisters and sound grenades that the Israeli military used in Bil’in.
The Bil’in Popular Committee issued a statement calling for the release of anti-wall activists who have been detained in a recent wave of arrests. The detainees include Jamal Juma, the coordinator of the overall Stop the Wall campaign, and Muhammad Othman, another anti-wall activist from the village of Jayyus.
Demonstrators also marched against the separation wall in the nearby village of Ni’lin.
Protesters hold demonstrations each Friday in Bil’in and Ni’lin, following the noon Muslim prayer, to protest the Israeli wall that severs residents of the villages from their lands.
The International Court of Justice said in 2004 the barrier was illegal and should be taken down because it crossed occupied territory.Last Mod: 25 Aralık 2010, 12:32