Lebanon bans Wonder Woman over Israeli actress Gal Gadot

Superhero movie branded 'the Israeli Soldier film'

Wonder Woman
Israeli star Gal Gadot attends the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California.
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Lebanon has banned showings of the superhero movie Wonder Woman because its leading actress Gal Gadot is Israeli.

The country's Ministry of Economy issued the ban hours before the movie was to premiere in Beirut, The Guardian reports, because Lebanon is officially at war with Israel.

The feature, which stars Tel Aviv-born Gal Gadot, has been branded "the Israeli Soldier film" by the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon.

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Gadot completed compulsory military service, serving as a combat trainer in the Israeli Defence Force from the age of 18.

Lebanon's Grand Cinemas chain announced the news on Twitter after the film had already been promoted around the country.

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The Ministry previously wanted to ban DC's 2016 movie Batman v Superman, in which Wonder Woman also appears, on the same basis, but was unsuccessful, the BBC says.

While the two nations are officially at war they have observed a ceasefire since 2006, apart from the occasional border clash.

The 2006 fighting killed roughly 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mainly troops fighting inside Lebanon.

Tony Chacra, managing director of the movie distributor Joseph Chacra & Sons, said it was "frustrating" as the film has "nothing to do with Israel". The movie had already passed Lebanon's normal screening procedures.

"It cost money and advertising...Everything was going normally until a few days ago when a campaign began," Chacra told Reuters.

Gadot has expressed support for Israel's forces since her time in the army, The Independent reports, notably when it led a 2014 offensive in Gaza.

"I am sending my love and prayers to [...] all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!" she wrote on Facebook in 2014.

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