Juliano Mer Khamis_521.
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
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
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
“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
Gough added that the Freedom Theater has always cooperated
with the Palestinian police.
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