A senior Christian figure was stabbed to death by an unknown attacker during a march to mark the Orthodox Christmas in Jaffa on Friday night.

The attacker was dressed up as Santa Claus, according to a number of eye witnesses.

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Police identified the murder victim as Gabriel Cadis, Chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association.

Six suspects, all members of the Christian community in Jaffa, were arrested on Saturday.

Police do not suspect a religiously motivated attack.

Police spokesman Moshe Katz told The Jerusalem Post that the stabbing occurred at the end of a march held by the Christian community along a Jaffa street.

"People nearby evacuated him from the scene," the spokesman added.

The stab victim was rushed to the Wolfson Medical Center in nearby Holon. Doctors attempted to save his life but were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced death shortly after arrival.

Homicide detectives have begun interviewing eye witnesses and searching for CCTV footage that could assist in their investigation.

A funeral procession was held for Candis in Jaffa on Saturday afternoon.

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