IDF arrests 2 Palestinians ‘connected with Freedom Theater'

Jenin Theater Foundation says soldiers threw stones, broke windows of theater founded by the late Juliano Mer-Khamis.

July 28, 2011 03:24
1 minute read.
A poster of Mer-Khamis at the al-Midan theater.

Juliano Mer Khamis_521. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)


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The IDF arrested two Palestinians early Wednesday morning in Jenin, saying they had ties to the Freedom Theater, whose Israeli founder, Juliano Mer-Khamis, was murdered in April by unknown masked gunmen.

The IDF confirmed the arrests, but would not disclose the suspects’ identities or their connection to the theater.

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In a press release issued Wednesday, the Freedom Theater claimed that those arrested were its manager, Adnan Naghnaghiye, and a board member, Bilal Saadi.

Jacob Gough, a British production manager from Wales who is in Jenin working with the theater, told The Jerusalem Post that he had been awakened at 3 a.m. by a phone call from Naghnaghiye who said IDF soldiers were outside the theater. He and its Swedish cofounder, Jonatan Stanczak, drove to the building but were stopped nearby by troops.

Gough said the soldiers forced them out of the car at gunpoint and had them join a Palestinian family that had similarly been stopped.

The Jenin Theater Foundation said in a press release that the soldiers had thrown stones at the building and broken windows. Gough also criticized the army for attacking a cultural institution.

“It is crazy what they did. They forced people out of their homes when they have no authority here. It is Area A,” he said, referring to the designation of West Bank areas under complete control of the Palestinian Authority.

Gough added that the Freedom Theater has always cooperated with the Palestinian police.


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