“Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, who was born in Israel and served a mandatory two years as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, released a statement on the recent violence between Israel and Palestine that drew backlash from fans.
“My heart breaks. My country is at war,” Gadot posted in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday. “I worry for my family, my friends. I worry for my people. This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long. Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation. Our neighbors deserve the same. I pray for the victims and their families, I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we could live side by side in peace. I pray for better days.”
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) May 12, 2021
Gadot’s statement for peace immediately became a hotly debated topic on Twitter, where some called out her use of the word “neighbors” instead of referencing Palestine by name. Some Twitter users began criticizing her role as Wonder Woman, which landed a third film with director Patty Jenkins in late 2020 after the release of “Wonder Woman 1984.”
Gadot’s time in the Israel Defense Forces has stirred up controversy in the past. In 2017, Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy banned the release of “Wonder Woman” due to the fact that Gadot is Israeli. While Israel and Lebanon are technically still at war and do not have formal diplomatic relations, there has been a ceasefire between the two countries since 2006.
Representatives for Gadot and Warner Bros. did not immediately return Variety’s requests for comment.
Violence between Israel and Palestine escalated this week after Hamas, a militant Palestinian Islamic organization that has controlled the Gaza Strip since Israel unilaterally withdrew from the territory in 2005, launched more than 1,500 rockets at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the city of Ashkelon and Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport. Israel responded with air strikes. Tensions between Israel and Palestine have further escalated over an Israeli court order to evict Palestinian residents from the neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah in East Jerusalem. That order is currently awaiting an appeal in Israel’s Supreme Court.
This article has been edited for clarity.