Actor Javier Bardem, left, and Penelope Cruz.
Actor Javier Bardem, left, and Penelope Cruz. Photo by AP
Text size

Dozens of stars from Spain's cultural scene have added their names to an open letter blasting Israel's Gaza operation, and denouncing Israel's actions as "genocide."

In the letter, which was published on Monday, Oscar-winners Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and the feted Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, were joined by a long list of names, in calling for the European Union to condemn "the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip."

They urged a truce by the Israel Defense Forces, which the letter refers to as the "Israel Occupation Forces," and for Israel to "lift the blockade, which the Gaza Strip has suggered for more than a decade."

"Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. 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," the letter said.

Other signatories included directors Montxo Armendariz and Benito Zambrano and actors Lola Herrera, Eduardo Noriega and Rosa Maria Sarda.

Israel's Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday, the 12th day of Israel's ground incursion in the Strip. Some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since the operation began, along with 53 IDF soldiers and three civilians in Israel.

The open letter blamed the current round of hostilities on Israel, saying that "Israel keeps advancing and invading Palestinian territories instead of withdrawing to the 67 borders." The letter said that Israel "humiliates, detains, and tramples on the rights of the Palestinian population in all of the West Bank ever day, also causing many deaths."

Bardem is well-known for his political activism, according to the Hollywood Reporter. On Friday, the star of "No Country for Old Men" published a letter in eldiario.es, in which he said, "In the horror happening right now in Gaza there is NO place for distance or neutrality."

Earlier this month, sixty-four public figures, including seven Nobel Peace Prize winners, called for an international arms embargo on Israel for its "war crimes and possible crimes against humanity" in Gaza in a letter published in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper.