top of page

A HISTORY OF ATTACKS ON
THE FREEDOM THEATRE

FOR MORE DETAILS ON RECENT ATTACKS AND UPDATES ON MUSTAFA SHETA'S IMPRISONMENT >>

The timeline below predominantly focuses on attacks that have taken place in Jenin Camp. It does not include travel bans and only cites a few of the cases of censorship that have taken place internationally.

4TH

APRIL

2011

JULIANO MER KHAMIS MURDERED

ROLE: Co-founder and Artistic Director

DETAILS: Juliano was shot and murdered by an unknown gunman outside of the theatre. Israel took and destroyed all evidence and repeatedly attacked and arrested those at TFT.

READ MORE >>

APRIL

2011

DEATH THREATS

DETAILS: Unnamed death threats and bullets received at the theatre, stating that anyone who continues work at The Freedom Theatre will be killed.

26TH

APRIL

2011

BILAL AL SAADI IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Chair of the Board

DETAILS: Arrested, interrogated and imprisoned for 30 days

READ MORE >>

26TH

APRIL

2011

ADNAN NAGHNIYEH IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Head Technician

DETAILS: Early in the morning, roughly 50 masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces troops raided the theatre and then arrested Adnan, whose home is part of the building. He was held for thirty days in intense interrogations

READ MORE >>

26TH

APRIL

2011

THEATRE RAIDED AND THE BUILDING DAMAGED

DETAILS: Early in the morning, roughly 50 masked and heavily armed IIsraeli Special Forces troops raided the theatre, throwing stones, smashing windows, and breaking the building. They held night manager and technician Ahmad Nasser Matahen at gunpoint, forcing him to raise his hands above his head and to take down his pants.

READ MORE >>

TESTIMONY >>

6TH

AUGUST

2011

RAMI AWNI HWAYEL IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Student of the Acting School 20 years

DETAILS: Taken by the Israeli army at the Shave Shomeron checkpoint, located between the Palestinian cities Jenin and Nablus. Held for roughly a month.

READ MORE >>

 

11TH

AUGUST

2011

MOHAMMED NAGHNIYEH IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Night guard

DETAILS: The Israeli army again surrounded The Freedom Theatre and the Nagnaghiya family home, arresting Mohammed.

READ MORE >>

 

29TH

DECEMBER

2011

ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI'S AMNESTY IS REVOKED

ROLE: Co-founder 

DETAILS: Zakaria has his amnesty revoked by Israel

READ MORE >>

6TH

JUNE

2012

NABIL AL RAEE IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Artistic Director 

DETAILS: He was taken from his family home at 3:15 in the morning and held for forty days in Israeli prison under administrative detention and given intense interrogations.

READ MORE >>

 

4TH

NOVEMBER

2013

FARAS SHARAIDA IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Student of Photography

DETAILS: Arrested, interrogated. Release date unknown.

READ MORE >>

 

JUNE

2014

NABIL AL RAEE DENIED UK VISA

ROLE: Artistic Director

DETAILS: Nabil denied a UK visa to the UK for a two-week talking tour. The justification for the refusal was: “I am not satisfied you are genuinely seeking entry as an entertainer or business visitor and will leave the UK at the end of your trip and do not intend to live for extended periods in the United Kingdom…“, 

READ MORE >>

 

6TH

JUNE

2015

MUSTAFA SHETA IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Secretary of the Board

DETAILS: Taken by the Israeli army and held in Administrative detention for six months. 

Upon his release in 2015, he lost his job at the United Nations. However, their loss was The Freedom Theatre’s gain and he became the Producer in 2017.

READ MORE >>

 

MAY/

JUNE

2015

UK TOUR UNDER INTENSE LEGAL MEDIA ATTACK

PRODUCTION: The Siege

DETAILS: The UK Tour of the production The Siege came under intense right-wing media attacks and slander. 

Whilst unsuccessful, attempts were made to close the production down by claiming it glorified terrorism, a crime with serious consequences if convicted. Protests followed the majority of performances and included protestors calling the police on performers.

READ MORE >>

 

SEPTEMBER2015

PERFORMANCES POSTPONED IN NEW YORK

PRODUCTION: The Siege

DETAILS: Performances of The Siege, which were set to open at The Public Theatre in New York, were delayed until the following spring.

 

MAY

2015

PERFORMANCES CANCELLED IN NEW YORK

PRODUCTION: The Siege

DETAILS: Performances of The Siege set to open at The Public Theatre cancelled indefinately.

 

2017

REMOVAL OF FUNDING

DETAILS: Removal of funding by Norway and Denmark due to BDS connections

READ MORE >>

 

SEPTEMBER

2017

AHMED TOBASI DENIED VISA TO USA

DETAILS: Ahmed Tobasi denied a visa to the USA to perform in The Siege.

 

2018

PERFORMANCE CENSORED IN EGYPT

SHOW: And Here I Am

DETAILS: And Here I Am censored in Egypt by the regime with parts of the text banned from being performed. The final performance was officially cancelled due to the election.

 

JANUARY

2019

PERFORMANCE CANCELLED IN SINGAPORE

DETAILS: And Here I Am was cancelled in Singapore after the InfoComm Media Development Authority (IMDA) refused to give a lisence to perform "IMDA has assessed that the performance includes content which will undermine national interest, and cause feelings of ill-will between different racial or religious groups or cause offence to any race or religious group.”

 

FEBRUARY

2019

ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI IMPRISONED

ROLE: Co-founder of The Freedom Theatre

DETAILS: Zakaria Zubeidi was imprisoned by Israeli army and is held until this day.

READ MORE >>

 

2021

REMOVAL OF MAJORITY CORE FUNDING

DETAILS: The Freedom Theatre lost 80% of its core funding due to refusing political stipulations that would mean they could not precede with their work and would make hiring and working with a majority of Palestinians in Jenin Camp impossible.

READ MORE >>

 

2021

MUSTAFA SHETA DENIED RIGHT TO TRAVEL

ROLE: Producer

DETAILS: Mustafa denied right to travel out of the West Bank by Israel, a ban which continues to be upheld.

 

11TH 

SEPTEMBER

2022

BILAL AL SAADI IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Previous Chair of the Board

DETAILS: Imprisoned and currently detained under administrative detention

READ MORE >>

21ST

NOVEMBER

2022

MAHMOUD AL-SADI MURDERED

ROLE: 17 year old youth participant

DETAILS: Mahmoud was shot and killed by the Israeli army on his way to school. We do not believe Mahmoud was killed due to his participation in the theatre.

READ MORE >>

 

29TH 

JANUARY

2023

YAHYA ZUBEIDI IMPRISONED 

ROLE: Member of The Freedom Theatre General Assembly

DETAILS: Held for seven months under administrative detention until the 7th August 2023

 

19TH

JUNE

2023

SADEEL NAGHNIYEH MURDERED

ROLE: 15-year-old youth participant

DETAILS: Sadeel grew up participating in theatre activities and was the niece to our head technician Adnan Torokman. Sadeel was shot in the head with live ammunition by an Israeli soldier inside an armoured military vehicle passing near her house in Jenin around 8 a.m.  We do not believe Sadeel was killed due to her participation in the theatre.

READ MORE >>

 

JULY

2023

ZOE LAFFERTY REFUSED RIGHT TO ENTER PALESTINE

ROLE: Associate Artistic Director

DETAILS: Zoe refused right to enter Palestine a ban that continues to be upheld.

 

3RD & 4TH

JULY

2023

THEATRE DAMAGED IN BOMBING AND RAID

DETAILS: The courtyard and outside area of theatre was severely damaged. This is where many of the kids gather to play. The ceiling of the theatre has cracks from the impacts of bombing. The level of structural damage is unclear. Cars in the courtyard of The Freedom Theatre were bombed and burnt. Homes were bombed and severely damaged next to the theatre. The Israeli army raided the theatre Guesthouse, shattering windows and putting a hole in the wall for a sniper.

READ MORE >>

 

3RD

JULY

2023

ADNAN NAGHNIYEH DETAINED

ROLE: Head Technician

DETAILS: Taken and detained by the Israeli army for four days along with his son.

 

6TH

SEPTEMBER

2023

THE ISRAELI ARMY USE STAFF AS HUMAN SHIELDS

DETAILS: The Israeli army entered Jenin Camp and arrested Muhammad Naghniyeh, brother of Adnan Naghniyeh, our head technician, and the uncle of 14-year-old Sadeel Naghnaghia, who was murdered in June. The army then occupied the theatre building, using it as a shield against any resistance fighters who attempted to defend and repel Israeli aggression.

READ MORE UNDER 06.09.23 >>

19TH

SEPTEMBER

2023

ATTACK DURING PERFORMANCE 

DETAILS: The Israeli army attacked Jenin Camp as a performance takes place at the theatre. The electricity was cut and the audience became trapped.

READ MORE UNDER 19.09.23 >>

 

11TH 

OCTOBER

2023

PERFORMANCE CANCELLED IN PARIS

DETAILS: Performance of And Here I Am was cancelled by the Mayor of Chosiy Le Roi. Two months later the performance was allowed to take place.

READ MORE >>

3RD

NOVEMBER

2023

YAMEN MAHMOUD NABIL JARRAR MURDERED

ROLE: 17 year old youth participant

DETAILS: Yamen was shot and killed by the Israeli army. We do not believe Yamen was killed due to his participation in the theatre.

READ MORE >>

 

3RD

NOVEMBER

2023

JEHAD NAGHIYEH MURDERED

ROLE: 26 year old member of the theatre. Jehad spent his childhood growing up around the theatre and was a youth participant. Jehad was the nephew of our head technician Adnan Torokman.

DETAILS: Jehad was shot and killed by the Israeli army. We do not believe Yamen was killed due to his participation in the theatre.

 

10TH

NOVEMBER

2023

MOHAMMAD MATAHEN MURDERED

ROLE: Mohammed was one of the young people from the camp who grew up around The Freedom Theatre. Many of our audiences will know him as the one who greeted them at the door when we had shows, helped them find their seats, and managed the overly excited kids.

DETAILS: Mohammad was shot and killed by the Israeli army. We do not believe Yamen was killed due to his participation in the theatre.

 

13TH

DECEMBER

2023

THEATRE RAIDED AND DESTROYED

DETAILS: The Israeli army raided the theatre, destroying the building, smashing all the equipment and destroying the offices. They then used the building as an army barracks.

READ MORE >>

13TH

DECEMBER

2023

AHMED TOBASI DETAINED

ROLE: Artistic Director

DETAILS: Detained and interrogated by the Israeli army. Released the next day

READ MORE >>

13TH

DECEMBER

2023

JAMAL ABU JOAS IMPRISONED

ROLE: Recently graduated student and poet

DETAILS: Taken by the Israeli army and imprisoned for eight days without charge.

 

13TH

DECEMBER

2023

MUSTAFA SHETA IMPRISONED

ROLE: Producer

DETAILS: Taken by the Israeli army and imprisoned under six months of administrative detention without charge or trial. He is currently in prison and we do not know if this sentence will be renewed after six months.

READ MORE >>

 

bottom of page