Stars behind the Israeli version of popular Tv show Sesame Street are protesting the closure of the Palestinian national theatre in Jerusalem, where a local children's festival was scheduled to take place.

Last week (begs24Jun13), officials at Israel's Ministry of Public Security announced the temporary closure of the Hakawati Theater over allegations owners illegally received funding from the Palestinian National Authority government in the West Bank, which is strictly prohibited as the countries continue to battle for control of the area.

A children's event featuring puppet shows and plays set to take place at the venue has since been axed, and now Ariel Doron, who voices the Middle Eastern version of Elmo, has called on local officials to allow the festival to go ahead as it does not pose a threat to national security.

On Monday (01Jul13), he told the Associated Press, "I think every boy and girl deserves to see puppet theatre. There is no sense to this."

The festival is the latest victim of the ongoing unrest - a number of top stars have refused to perform in the area because of the Israel/Palestine conflict, including Roger Waters and Stevie Wonder.