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Faces & Names: Cruz clarifies stance on Middle East conflict

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 After signing her name to an open letter condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza as “genocide,” Penelope Cruz has walked back her stance on the complicated Middle East crisis.

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“I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject,” the actress said in a statement. “I’m not an expert on the situation and I’m aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza.”

The open letter, also signed by Cruz’s husband, Javier Bardem, and director Pedro Almodovar among other famous figures in the Spanish film industry, was published in Spanish papers on Tuesday.

The letter said, in part, “Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air.”

It continued, “Palestinians’ homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity (and) free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing.”

In the new statement distancing herself from the letter, Cruz said, “I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease-fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border. I wish for unity, and peace. … I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side.”

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