On Monday, April 4th , 2011, the Israeli actor Juliano Mer was assassinated in an attack carried-out by radical terrorists, just outside the Freedom Theatre, of which he was the founder, in the Jenin refugee camp.
Just a decade earlier, the Jenin Refugee Camp had come to symbolize the epicenter of terror in the West Bank, a place from which dozens of suicide bombers would make their way to the civilian population centers in the State of Israel in order to carry out lethal terrorist attacks. In recent years, and today as well, the city of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp, have become a thriving cultural center, with a vibrant theatre house, cinemas, outdoor amphitheatres, an amusement park, a giant shopping mall, and more.
On Tuesday, April 5th 2011, before noon, a memorial service was held at the “Meidan” Theatre in Haifa, where Israeli and Palestinian professionals from the world of acting and film passed Mer’s casket and paid their last respect for Mer. His funeral was held in the afternoon.
The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories and the Civil Administration for the West Bank approved and coordinated the unusual entry of 28 residents of Jenin into Israel, including directors, officials, students and actors from the Freedom Theatre that Juliano Mer had founded in order to enable their attendance at the ceremony and funeral. Among the Jenin residents allowed entry were a number of children and friends of the actor’s daughter, so as to allow her to receive support and to share her pain.