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Jews beat Santa Claus with truncheons
Israeli guards beat five demonstrators, including one dressed as Santa Claus, during a protest yesterday against Israel's apartheid wall in the West Bank.
About 50 peace activists attended the rally in the village of Um Salomona, near Bethlehem, the Biblical birthplace of Jesus that is preparing to celebrate Christmas.
Israeli border guards armed with truncheons briefly detained one activist and savagely beat another five during the rally. One Christian Palestinian protester was wearing a Santa Claus costume.
Israel says the massive barrier of electric fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls built across the West Bank is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating the country and attacking Jewish settlements on Arab land.*color = red>
Palestinians say the project is aimed at grabbing their land and undermining the viability of their promised state.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling that parts of the 650-kilometre (410-mile) barrier criss-crossing the West Bank are illegal and should be torn down.
Israel has vowed to complete the project anyway.
*color = red> Whoa! The AFP news network slipped up there!
“Jewish settlements on Arab land.”