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Tuesday Aug. 9, 2011 9:55 AM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, August 9 (JMCC) - With the arrest of a third actor in the theater in the Jenin refugee camp, leaders have been left to wonder at a wave of Israeli military intimidation,reports the Independent.

In April, a masked gunman killed the theater's director, Juliano Mer-Khamis, an Israeli of Palestinian and Jewish parentage. No one has been charged with the murder.

Rami Hwayel, an actor with the Jenin Freedom Theatre, was arrested two days ago at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank as he drove home with friends to see his family for Ramadan.


Colleagues said they were bewildered by the arrest, describing Mr Hwayel, who was to perform in an upcoming production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, as dedicated to his work. Israel has given no explanation for his detention.

Just 10 days previously, Israeli troops had stormed the theatre, located in one of the occupied West Bank's most battle-scarred towns, arresting Adnan Naghnaghiye, the theatre's location manager and Bilal Saadi, a board member.

Those involved with the project have been left guessing at the motives behind the spate of arrests. Lawyers and family members have not been allowed to meet with the detainees, the army referring only to security concerns in the cases of the first two arrests. We're in the dark. We don't know why these arrests are happening – we don't know why we are being targeted. We're a cultural organisation fighting for freedom, said Jacob Gough, the theatre's acting managing director.

Some speculate that the arrests may be connected to the activities of Dror Feiler, a co-founder of the theatre, and one of several arrested and deported last month for attempting to breach Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.







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