Bethlehem/PNN/ By Haya Abushkhaidem & Nour Qudimat
A day before Christmas, a group of Palestinian activists, including members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, dressed like Santa Clause today in Bethlehem to bring joy to oppressed families.
The activists also wanted to send a message to the world about the Israeli violations taking place in the West Bank during the week of Christmas, as Israel has recently arrested six Palestinians, demolished houses and confiscated land.
The PSCC held a Santa Claus ceremony in Area C where the Israeli occupation is constantly trying to annex this land for themselves by displacing Palestinians and demolishing their homes.
The ceremony counts as an attempt to confirm that this is Palestinian land and that all occupation procedures in are in violation of international law.
“Palestinian Santa is restrained by Israel. He represents the life we live in the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the city of Bethlehem, which is surrounded by the Israeli apartheid wall” Says MuntherAmira, head of the PSCC. “It is important for the world to see Israeli crimes in the West Bank”.
The tour activity began in the village of Al-Khader in the north of the city of Bethlehem, where Israel demolished the house of Samih Salah a couple of days ago. “I have four kids in schools and now we have no shelter,” Samih Salah’s wife told PNN.
The activists then headed to Al-Walajah, a village, northwest of Bethlehem, and visited the family of Omar Shananeer, whose house is located right behind the apartheid Wall, which separates his house and isolates his family from the rest of the village with an electric gate.
The activists wanted to shed light on his suffering and also to bring joy to the children by giving them Christmas presents.
This came in accordance with the international criminal court decision to open an investigation into Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem.
“It is important for those who suffer to know that we support them,” said activist Munther Amira, “because all of us Palestinians share the same pain and struggle. It’s also important for the world to know that Palestinians are not spared from the occupation’s crimes even during Christmas.”
The tour ended in Al-Makhrour, an area in the northwest of Bethlehem where Palestinian lands are threatened to be confiscated by Israel.
Palestinian activist Mahmoud Zawahrah sends a message of hope to the world: “I hope people from outside Palestine will light candles for the Palestinians, the followers of Jesus, the sons and grandsons of Jesus, a man who was born to bring peace and justice, which is no longer possible in Palestine”.
The Christmastime has now become an iconic season which Palestinians celebrate, and also attempt to highlight their cause and raise their voice to reach out for the world.