Based in Israel, Mer-Khamis was affiliated with the local theater in Jenin, established by his mother in the 1980s. In 2006, Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater in Jenin, along with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city.
Mer-Khamis’ mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian. Mer-Khamis was born and raised in Nazareth.
According to this Ynet article (Hebrew only), Mer-Khamis has been threatened before for associating with the Zionist entity and corrupting Palestinian youth.
It seems that it doesn’t matter how much you work for peace, Palestinian rights, or associate with the “right” people (i.e. terrorists; see above). If the extremists decide you are associated with the “Zionists” you will be threatened and possibly killed.
What chance does true peace have in that sort of environment?
Edited to update: Ynet now has an English version of the story, and it has some poignant details about the murdered actor.
In an interview with Ynet that year, Mer-Khamis said he feared for his life. “But what choice do I have? To run? I am not a fleeing man,” he said.
“I am an elite force man, formerly of the paratroopers. The only two things I gained from Israeli culture are Shlonsky’s translations of Shakespeare and adequate field training. Now I need it.”
However, the actor added, he was taking precautions. Of those behind the fliers he said, “It makes them crazy that a man who is half-Jewish is at the head of one of the most important projects in the Palestinian West Bank and it is just hypocritical racism.”
“I have never been as Jewish as I am right now in Jenin. After all this work at the camp it would be extremely unfortunate to die of a Palestinian bullet,” he added in a moment of clairvoyance.
What an interesting man who tried to do good. What a shame that some of the people he tried to benefit couldn’t find it in their heart to appreciate his effort.