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Thousands Pay Respects to Slain Activist-Artist Juliano Mer Khamis
Juliano Mer-Khamis
By: Tania Kepler
Alternative Information Center
6 April 2011

Over 1,000 people paid their respects in Haifa to slain activist-artist Juliano Mer-Khamis on Wednesay, 6 April.

Thousands attended the funeral of artist-activist Juliano Mer Khamis, who was killed on 4 April

Mer-Khamis, director of the Freedom Theatre in the West Bank city of Jenin, was shot dead Monday, 4 April. The 52-year-old was sitting in his car in the Jenin Refugee Camp, when masked gunmen shot him five times.

His coffin was placed on public display at the at al-Maidan theater in Haifa during the first part of the day. Following the public visitation time, a funeral procession marched through the streets of Haifa in Wadi Nisnas, and 500 people followed the coffin from Haifa to the Jalame Crossing, the entrance to the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank.

Only the car with the coffin, Mer-Khamiss widow Jenny, Israeli director Udi Aloni and a few others were allowed to cross the check point into Jenin. Others were told that if they crossed, they would be searched and detained on the way out.

Around 500 people stood on the Israeli side of the checkpoint, chanting I will die and Palestine will stay alive.

Inside Jenin, Palestinian friends, students, and admirers of Mer-Khamis paid their respects. The murder of Mer-Khamis shocked the Jenin community.

Kadura Musa, governor of Jenin, responded to the murder saying: `He was a Palestinian citizen of Israeli origin. An actor and an artist but most of all a true human being. We don`t know why this happened, but all the people of the camp condemn the death of this son of ours whose mother also did so much for the people of Jenin.`

A symbolic funeral in Jenin was also held on Wednesday.

Following the time of mourning in Jenin, the funeral convoy made its way to Kibbutz Ramot Menashe in northern Israel for the funeral service early Wednesday evening.

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