(Link to Friends of Bethlehem on Facebook)
Christmas time is upon us, again. While folks sing carols and Christmas songs like Silent Night and O Little Town of Bethlehem the modern day folks of Bethlehem continue to live under the occupation of another (as they have done since 1967) and face the violence used to maintain this control.
The following provides an insight into the life of Palestinians and their life in Bethlehem.
Video: Sean Smith, ‘Bethlehem emergency: ambulance crews on the frontline – video’, The Guardian.com, 14 December 2015
Bethlehem ambulance station has been busy during recent months in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Street clashes and security forces’ use of gas to suppress unrest has led to many injuries and deaths. In November, Sean Smith spent 48 hours with two crews patrolling the streets at work and reflecting on the state of unrest. Warning: Some viewers may find images in this video distressing
Thanks to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society for facilitating access
Sean Smith, Ken Macfarlane, Michael Tait and Mustafa Khalili, theguardian.com
Monday 14 December 2015 23.30 AEDT
Video: ‘Santas clash with troops in Bethlehem’, Channel 4 News
“Violent scenes in Bethlehem as a group of 50 Palestinians dressed as Santa Claus clashed with Israeli soldiers.”
Facts & Figures: UN, ‘Casualties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPT) and Israel 1 Oct-30 Nov 2015′, OCHA
Heightened tension which began in mid-September 2015 in the Old City of Jerusalem, increased significantly from 1 October throughout the oPt and Israel, characterized by widespread confrontations with Israeli forces, alongside almost daily attacks on Israelis. In this context, serious protection concerns have been raised including related to deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinians and excessive use of force against Palestinians by the Israeli military and police, including possible extra-judicial killings. As noted by the UN Deputy Secretary-General, the violence is taking place in the context of a “stifling and humiliating occupation that has lasted almost half a century.