Several suspects arrested in shooting near theater Mer-Khamis founded
"Miral" actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, a filmmaker and peace activist, was shot and killed Monday night in the volatile West Bank city of Jenin, where he lived and had founded his Freedom Theater, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Palestinian Authority security officials said they had arrested a Hamas operative suspected of involvement in the killing. Several other suspects were arrested Monday, but many were later released.
A masked assailant shot Mer-Khamis five times at close range near the theater entrance, the paper said, citing a Palestinian Authority security source. The source said a woman who was in the car was lightly wounded.
Mer-Khamis is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with twins, and was said to be with himat the time of the shooting.
Mer-Khamis' first film was 1984's "The Little Drummer Girl" with Diane Keaton.
A critic of Israel, Mer-Khamis was the son of Arna Mer, a Jewish Israeli activist for Palestinian causes, and Saliba Khamis, a Nazareth-born Christian who helped lead the Israeli Communist Party in the 1950s. His maternal grandfather was Gideon Mer, a scientist who studied malaria.
Mer-Khamis' theater was founded in 2006 and firebombed in 2009 after leaflets circulated describing him as a “fifth column” and calling for his death.
“We cannot stand silent in the face of this ugly crime,” said Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. “It constitutes a grave violation that goes beyond all principles and human values, and it contravenes the customs and ethics of coexistence.”
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