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The Palestinian National Theatre, for three decades the leading performing arts and cultural center for Arabs in Jerusalem, is facing potential closure after running up large municipal debts, its director said Friday.Known as "Al-Hakawati" (The Storyteller), the theater has amassed unpaid bills of $150,000 over the past five years, with money owed to city hall, to the national insurance fund and to the local Israeli electricity firm. Palestinians want East Jerusalem – captured and occupied by Israel in 1967 – as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.In June this year, Israel's culture minister froze funding to an Arab theatre after it performed a play about Palestinians jailed by Israel. She also threatened to cut funding to an Arab-Israeli theatre that refused to perform in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
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