Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Press Release from the Jenin Freedom Theater

By Editor - December 30, 2011
Section: [Culture]
Tags: [Zakaria Zubeidi] [Jenin Freedom Theater]

 The following press release was written by associates of the Jenin Freedom Theater and published here with their permission.

JENIN REFUGEE CAMP– On 29 December 2011, co-founder of and mentor to the Freedom Theater, Zakaria Zubeidi, was told by the Palestinian Authority that his amnesty will be revoked by the Israeli authorities. His amnesty agreement, granted in 2007 by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office was in return for Zubeidi’s ending of armed resistance. The amnesty agreement allowed him to remain safe inside the Palestinian Authority district of Jenin where the Israeli military would not seek to arrest or assassinate him.

After having been the leader of the armed resistance during the Second Intifada, Zubeidi turned to cultural and non-violent resistance through theater in 2006. With the late Juliano Mer Khamis, Zubeidi founded The Freedom Theater. The Freedom Theater is a cultural venue in Jenin Refugee Camp, that uses the arts as a form of resistance to occupation.

Zubeidi has become one of the main advocates for non-violent resistance through the arts. As Zubeidi states, “We used armed resistance to represent our case in the Intifada, and then we decided to follow the PA’s amnesty program and give up armed resistance, so then I continued my struggle against occupation through cultural resistance, and The Freedom Theater is one of the institutions that has my full support.”

However, on Thursday afternoon, the Palestinian Authority was contacted by the Israeli military informing them that Zubeidi’s lifted was removed and that he had to turn himself in immediately.

Now, his phone has been taken from him and he is in grave danger. No reason has been given for this sudden withdrawal of Zubeidi’s amnesty.

Zakaria has always kept to the conditions of the amnesty whilst supporting a cultural intifada, so this news comes as a complete shock, says Jacob Gough a friend of Zubeidi’s and long time associate of The Freedom Theater.

The Freedom Theater regards this as yet another stage in the continued attacks and harassment on The Freedom Theater over the last several months, including repeated attacks on the theater by Israeli Special Forces and repeated nightly arrests of its members.

Whatever reasons the Israeli authorities will give for this sudden turn-around, it will jeopardize the work of The Freedom Theater that advocates for non-violent resistance.

Jonaton Stanczak, another co-founder of the theater says it puts Zubeidi’s safety at risk. The Freedom Theater strongly condemns these actions and wishes to emphasize that Zubeidi’s life is now in real danger. The Freedom Theater urges all its friends and supporters to contact the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli DCO in Jenin to voice opposition to this move and show support to Zakaria Zubeidi.

Whatever reasons the Israeli authorities will give for this sudden turn-around, it will jeopardize the work of The Freedom Theater that advocates for non-violent resistance

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