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Lebanon Bans ‘Wonder Woman’ over Israeli Actress | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An advertising billboard for “Wonder Woman” movie is pictured along a highway, east of Beirut, Lebanon May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Lebanon’s interior ministry has banned the new “Wonder Woman” film from cinemas because Israeli actress Gal Gadot plays the lead role.

The movie was set to premiere in most of Beirut’s major cinemas on Wednesday night, after private showings had been held the day before.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Tony Chacra, managing director of the distributor Joseph Chacra and Sons. “The movie has nothing to do with Israel.”

They had already gained permission to show it in Lebanon, he said. “It cost money and advertising … Everything was going normally until a few days ago when a campaign began.”

Chacra said various Arab countries, including the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman, would screen the movie.

“They are not harming anyone by banning it … except the distributor,” he added. “They are making the movie theaters lose, the employees, the Lebanese economy … What did they get out of this?”

Lebanon considers Israel an enemy country and the Ministry of Economy and Trade oversees a boycott of any business transactions concerning Israel.

Gadot is a former Israeli army soldier.

An interior ministry source said an order was issued to ban the movie based on a recommendation from the General Security directorate.

Campaigners had denounced Gadot on Facebook for serving in the Israeli military.