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Richard Gere in Israel criticizes settlements

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/12/2017
American actor Richard Gere speaks during a press conference at the Israeli premiere of the "Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer" movie, in Jerusalem, Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) © The Associated Press American actor Richard Gere speaks during a press conference at the Israeli premiere of the "Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer" movie, in Jerusalem, Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Richard Gere has lashed out at Israel over its settlements in territory that Palestinians want for a state.

American actor Richard Gere, left, movie director Joseph Cedar, center, and Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, stand for a photo before a press at then premiere of the "Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer" movie in Jerusalem, Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) © The Associated Press American actor Richard Gere, left, movie director Joseph Cedar, center, and Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, stand for a photo before a press at then premiere of the "Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer" movie in Jerusalem, Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

The "Pretty Woman" star came to Jerusalem for the local premiere of a new film by Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar in which he stars.

A story in Sunday's Haaretz newspaper quoted the actor as saying "settlements are such an absurd provocation ... and they are certainly not part of the program of someone who wants a genuine peace process."

The international community mostly views settlements as an obstacle to creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel in territory it captured in the 1967 war. Israel says settlements along with other core issues like security should be resolved in peace talks.

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