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Christmas trees in Jerusalem, Peace tree in Bethlehem

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 21, 2015 at 4:21 p.m.



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JERUSALEM (AP) — A day after another attempted stabbing attack on Israelis, Jerusalem's civic leaders have held their annual Christmas tree giveaway.

By the Old City walls, Jerusalem residents were greeted Monday by Santa Claus, who helped them select from among Christmas trees distributed by city hall.

Nearby, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Palestinians decorated an olive tree with tear gas canisters and grenades near the Church of Nativity. Palestinian activist Jamal Juma'a said the decorations send the message that Palestinians deserve to live in peace. He said the tree symbolizes the resistance and "suffering of the Palestinian people."

In three months of violence, 20 Israelis have been killed in near-daily Palestinian attacks. At least 119 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, of which Israel says 79 were assailants. The rest were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

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