Snow came early to many parts of western Europe this year, with many hoping for it to hold until Christmas. A white Christmas is what many wish for, as families come together in a tradition rooted in the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
But in the "Holy Land," a white Christmas of another kind is being inflicted on the Palestinian people. For decades now the skies of Palestine are routinely filled with white toxic tear gas that the Israeli authorities use to enforce their occupation.
Indeed, in a recent talk at the London School of Economics, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl, quoted a yet to be published report by medical experts who found that the residents of Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem are the community most exposed to tear gas in the world.
Aida is the same place where an Israeli commander was filmed blasting the following message from his jeep's loudspeakers: "People of Aida refugee camp, we are the occupation forces. You throw stones, and we will hit you with gas until you all die. The children, the youth, the old people - you will all die. We won't leave any of you alive."
As Palestinians now protest against the Trump administration's decision to move the US Embassy to East Jerusalem, the Palestinian skies have once again become white with those familiar clouds and streams of gas. Since President Donald Trump’s announcement on the plan to move the US Embassy, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society has recorded 2,505 injuries from tear gas in which their staff had to provide first aid.