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

The unidentified attacker was dressed as Santa Claus, according to witnesses.

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Police identified the victim as Gabriel Cadis, the 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,” he said.

Cadis was rushed to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

A funeral procession was held for him in Jaffa on Saturday afternoon. A somber mood descended on Yefet Street, as more than a thousand mourners joined a procession from the Cadis family home to St. George Church.

A cross-section of the Jaffa mosaic was on display at the procession with leaders from the Christian and Muslim communities joining teenage bystanders, local activists, city councilmen, family and friends to bid farewell to Cadis.

The procession was led by a large contingent of scouts who periodically stopped to play taps, ahead of a minivan carrying Cadis in an open-face casket.

The van was flanked by Orthodox priests who cast clouds of incense behind the vehicle’s open back doors. Bells from St. George Church next to the Old City rang out as the mourners made their way into the pews, and hundreds of well-wishers crowded outside.

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