UPDATE: Reuters reports that police arrested a member of the Hamas group, who is considered a suspect in the tragic killing of the 52-year old Arab-Israeli actor/director Juliano Mer-Khamis outside the Freedom Theater drama center he ran within the Palestinian Refugee
Miral scribe Rula Jebreal issued a statement on the shooting death of Juliano Mer-Khamis, who was assassinated Monday in the West Bank. Mer-Khamis, son of a Jewish mother and Palestinian father, was gunned down outside the Freedom Theater, the drama center he established within the Palestinian Refugee Camp. Mer-Khamis played a role in Miral, which was directed by Julian Schnabel and which Jebreal adapted from a book that reflected her own experiences. He also starred in Little Drummer Girl opposite Diane Keaton.
“To me, Juliano was a true humanitarian and artist, who used theater as a tool to help children in a war zone salve their wounds,” she said. “He represented and embodied the possibility of coexistence and forgiveness. Juliano’s vision for peace and justice will live on in his work, and he will continue to be an inspiration for us all.”
Schnabel gave a lengthy interview to Deadline after showing Miral to the United Nations, and at the time he advocated tearing down the security barriers he said make Palestinians second class citizens. The murder of Mer-Khamis and other recent violent attacks seems to bear out the opinion of many Deadline commenters that such a move at this point is more idealistic than practical because things are so volatile. Authorities are still working on solving the tragic crime. In the wake of the killing, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said: “We cannot stand silent in the face of this ugly crime. It constitutes a grave violation that goes beyond all principles and human values, and it contravenes the customs and ethics of coexistence.”