'Miral' Actor, 52, Gunned Down in West Bank

Saif Dahlah/AFP/Getty Images

Juliano Mer-Khamis was shot at close range by a masked gunman outside the theater he founded inside a Palestinian refugee camp.

Miral actor Juliano Mer-Khamis was murdered in West Bank city Jenin Monday.

Mer-Khamis, who also starred opposite Diane Keaton in 1984 film Little Drummer Girl, was shot at close range by a masked gunman outside the Freedom Theater, a drama center he founded in the Palestinian Refugee Camp.

The Jerusalem Post reports that his wife, who is pregnant with twins, was in the car and wounded, but survived.

"He was on his way to his car when a masked man stopped him, shot him and ran away," the theater's program director, Samia Staiti, told the Associated Press. "They are trying to kill what Juliano tried to spread — peace and freedom. We will keep on going on."

Mer-Khamis, whose mother was Jewish and father Palestinian, had been reportedly receiving death threats for his opposition of military occupation in the area.

A rep for controversial movie Miral told the New York Post: "[Writer] Rula [Jebreal] and [director] Julian [Schnabel] were very shocked at this tragic news."

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spoke out in the killing, and also said an investigative unit would be established to find the murderer.

“We cannot stand silent in the face of this ugly crime,” he said. “It constitutes a grave violation that goes beyond all principles and human values, and it contravenes the customs and ethics of coexistence.”