Palestinian Actress Shot by Israeli Police in Haifa Protest

Palestinian actress Maisa Abd Elhadi — who was featured in artist Larissa Sansour’s film In Vitro at the Danish Pavilion in the 2019 Venice Biennale — is reported to be injured after being shot by Israeli police during a demonstration in the city of Haifa on Sunday, May 9.

Abd Elhadi was allegedly shot while participating in a demonstration against the planned eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. According to reports, police in riot gear fired tear gas canisters at the protesters and arrested at least 15 people.

Since last Friday, hundreds of Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli security forces and settler groups in Jerusalem. At least 21 Israeli police officers were injured in the confrontations. On Monday, an Israeli airstrike on Gaza killed at least 20 civilians, including nine children, after the militant group Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials in Ramallah have called the evictions of Palestinian residents from their homes a “crime of ethnic cleansing,” whereas a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry dismissed the conflict as a “real-estate dispute.”

Abd Elhadi, who was admitted to the hospital for her wounds, could not be reached for comment. Images of her being transported in an ambulance have been circulating on social media, with some claiming that she was shot by live ammunition. Abd Elhadi herself had posted on Instagram that she was pierced “by the occupation’s bullets.”

The Danish Pavilion in the 2019 Venice Biennale (photo by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

The Nazareth-born actress has gained international renown in recent years. Her credits include Hulu’s Baghdad Central; the Palestinian 2020 Oscar submission Gaza Mon Amour by Arab and Tarzan Nasser; Sameh Zoabi’s comedy Tel Aviv On Fire; and Muayad Alayan’s Jerusalem-set drama The Reports On Sarah and Saleem, among many other films, TV series, and theater productions.

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