The Palestinian Theatre ASHTAR, established in Jerusalem in 1991, specializes in theatre training and acting programs, mainly in the form of Forum Theatre on community issues. The Al Mishal Theatre, ASHTAR’s second department in Gaza, has been destroyed by an Israeli air strike on 10 August as response to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel before. At least 18 people were wounded. The building hold a library and offices for artistic associations including dance troupes and musicians. Intentional targeting of cultural property is illegal under international law (Israel has signed the Hague Convention).
“With great rage and deep pain, ASHTAR Theatre condemns the brutal attack of the Israeli occupation on Al Mishal Theatre in Gaza which flattened the 6 floors building to the ground.
Al Mishal was the base of ASHTAR youth group in Gaza since 2008. It had been the stage to various productions of ASHTAR Theatre; The Gaza Monologues, Romeo and Juliet in Gaza, Hanin, The Flowers Garden, Hercules Children, and many more. The atrocities of the occupation had been escalating and it seems there is no bottom for their deterioration.”
Iman Aoun, Artistic Director, ASHTAR Theatre, Ramallah – Palestine
In it’s statement the Palestinian Performing Arts Network calls the UNESCO “to issue a statement and resolution condemning the destruction of Palestinian tangible cultural heritage, and demand the international community rebuild the Center and other cultural and artistic organizations destroyed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza Strip.”
The Guardian published a detailed report on August 22nd.