A masked gunman fatally shot Israeli-Palestinian actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis April 4 as he was leaving the theater he had co-founded in the Jenin Refugee Camp, located in the Palestinian Territories.
The 52-year-old director, who had just finished discussing a production of “Alice in Wonderland” with a colleague, stepped out to take his one-year-old son home with the babysitter when his assailant fired five times at close range into Mer Khamis’ vehicle, killing him and slightly wounding the babysitter. The child, sitting in his lap, was unharmed.
The murder of the much-loved Mer Khamis has shocked his students and colleagues as well as artists and peace activists around the world. That he was killed on the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a devastating irony for, like King, Mer Khamis understood freedom is essential to peace and expressed this conviction creatively and courageously.