Richard Gere criticizes settlements while in Israel promoting film
Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride actor quoted in Haaretz newspaper calling settlements 'absurd provocation'
Richard Gere has lashed out at Israel over its settlements in territory that Palestinians want for a state.
The Pretty Woman star and human rights activist 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 considers settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel says settlements along with other core issues like security should be resolved in peace talks.
Gere also met with several organizations working toward Palestinian-Israeli coexistence, something he has done during past visits as well.
"Just to be clear about this: I denounce violence on all sides of this. And, of course, Israelis should feel secure. But Palestinians should not feel desperate," he told the paper.
With files from CBC News