Palestinian Samih Wadi dresses as Santa Claus and hands out toys to the Palestinian children among the debris of buildings destroyed by Israeli army, in Shujaiyeh district of Gaza City on December 23, 2014. (ANADOLU/Belal Khaled)
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One day before Christmas, the children of Gaza City's Shujaiyeh district woke up to find Santa Claus walking its streets, which were largely destroyed by Israeli forces this summer.At least 72 Palestinians -- including many children and women -- were killed, and some 400 others injured by Israel's shelling of Shujaiyeh, according to official Palestinian figures.The U.N. estimated earlier this year that more than 400,000 children in the beleaguered Gaza Strip were in need of psychological counseling after having endured three major Israeli offensives within the past six years.Santa Claus is a rare sight in the predominantly Muslim Gaza Strip, which is home to some 1.9 million Palestinians. Unofficial figures estimate that 2,000 Christian Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, some two thirds of whom are Eastern Romanian Orthodox, meaning they celebrate Christmas in early January.
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