IDF Arrests Two Employees of Freedom Theater in Jenin

It is not known if the arrests were linked the April murder of Israeli-Palestinian actor Juliano Mer-Khamis.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Wednesday morning arrested two men involved in running the Freedom Theater in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The arrested men were Adnan Naghnaghiye, the theater's director, and Bilal Saadi, a member of the theater's board.

Memorial for Juliano Mer-Khamis - David Bachar - April 5, 2011
David Bachar

The Freedom Theater was founded by Juliano Mer-Khamis, an Israeli-Palestinian actor who had a Jewish mother and a Muslim father and who was murdered outside the theater in April.

The killer has not been apprehended. It's unclear whether Wednesday's arrests were linked to the case.

The arrest operation left broken windows in one of the theater's two adjacent buildings.

According to theater officials, around 50 IDF soldiers arrived at the theater around 3:30 a.m. Naghnaghiye lived at the theater and was arrested there. Saadi was arrested around the same time at his home in the Jenin refugee camp.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that two Palestinians were arrested in Jenin on Wednesday. The IDF denied that the theater was targeted but offered no further details.

Theater officials were shocked by the manner of the arrests. They said that the IDF could have sent summons to the arrestees and called them in for questioning as is routinely done through coordination mechanisms with the Palestinian Authority,