Christian leader killed by attacker in Santa costume

JAFFA -- The leader of the Orthodox Christian community in an Israeli town was stabbed to death on Friday, Christmas Eve, by an assailant dressed as Santa Clause.

Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on its website that attorney Gabriel Cadis, chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association, was murdered following the annual Christmas procession of Christian Orthodox worshipers.

Eyewitnesses said that Cadis was stabbed in the back, and that his killer then fled the scene.

Israeli police said they detained six persons in connection with the murder, and that investigators were "looking into the possibility that Cadis was murdered over a real estate dispute or power struggles within the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association."