On 26 October 2021, Israeli Police shut down a three-day cultural festival, scheduled to take place in East Jerusalem in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, allegedly due to “support from the Palestinian authorities”, and a lack of “written permissions”, reported Ahram Online.
The festival organised by the Mobile Theatre, the Palestinian National Hakwati Theatre, and the Edward Said Institute was cancelled when the performances had already begun.
According to Agenzia Fides, a shutdown order issued by the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Omer Barlev, was presented to the administrator of the Palestinian National Hakwati Theatre, Amer Khalil, as a reason for this cancellation. The order mentioned that the festival was “‘supported and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority without written permission”.
Khalil, however, said that the event was supported by the United Nations Development Programme, Finland and Austria and not by the Palestinian Authority.
In 2021, Freemuse documented more than 13 cases of artistic freedom violations across Israel and Palestine. This research has highlighted the systematic targeting of Palestinian artists and cultural actors for social or political engagement. Read our solidarity statement here.