Detention of Palestinian writers opens new cultural front in Israel’s war with Hamas


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One morning in early September 2023, Mustafa Sheta, a Palestinian writer and the general manager of the Freedom Theatre, spoke to The Irish Times in the theatre’s empty auditorium in the West Bank city of Jenin. He explained the importance of cultural resistance against Israel’s occupation, as well as his frustrations with the Palestinian movement’s lack of success in securing a state and the Palestinian Authority’s increasing authoritarianism. Three months later, on December 12th, the theatre was raided at night by Israeli soldiers and its offices ransacked. Hours later, Sheta was arrested in front of his wife and four children,...