Authorities Saturday arrested six people suspected of involvement in the fatal stabbing of a senior figure in Jaffa's Christian community, Israeli police said, dpa reported.
Gabriel Cadis, chairman of the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association, was stabbed Friday evening at the end of a procession by the Orthodox Christian community held along a Jaffa street to mark the Orthodox Christmas, which falls on January 7.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
One witness said a man wearing a Santa Claus suit stabbed Cadis in the back and then fled, swallowed up by the crowd.
A police spokesman said investigators were still looking for the motive for the murder.
Israeli media however speculated that investigators were looking into the possibility that Cadis was murdered over a real estate dispute, or because of tensions and power struggles in the Jaffa Orthodox Church Association.
The Israeli YNet news site quoted an unnamed member of Jaffa's Christian community as saying that Cadis had been elected head of the association three weeks ago.
"The election campaign was very tense. It was the third time the deceased had won the elections. We suspect the murder is linked to the elections," he said.
Jaffa, a part of Tel Aviv, has a large Arab Christian community, many of them practitioners of the Orthodox faith.