Gal Gadot and her daughter, Alma, pray for Israeli civilians and soldiers, July 25, 2014.
Gal Gadot and her daughter, Alma, pray for Israeli civilians and soldiers, July 25, 2014. Photo by Gal Gadot / Facebook
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The night before Gal Gadot thrilled fans with a surprise appearance at San Diego’s Comic-Con gathering, the Israeli model and actress sparked a heated online debate about the fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In a photo posted to her Facebook page, the Israeli model and actress can be seen with her daughter, Alma, covering her eyes beside lit Shabbat candles. Accompanying the photo is a caption that states her support and prayers for Israeli soldiers:

“I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially 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! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf”

Within two days, the post gathered 172,303 “likes” and 4,692 “shares.” In addition, it attracted 15,786 comments – both in support of the Fast and the Furious star (and soon-to-be Wonder Woman) and harshly critical of her in particular, and Israel in general.

“Zionist israeli army is the biggest terrorist organisation! Palestinians are facing ethnic cleansing ever since the zionist israelis started snatching land! What would you do if your land home and everything you had is being taken away constantly?” wrote one Facebook user. “Even if Hamas no longer existed, Israel will find another to blame to continue with its genocide”, wrote another. “Why do you need to cover your eyes?? Because the truth of what Israel is doing is too sickening to see!! You are blinded yourself and blinding your children to what is actually happening!” said yet another comment.

On the other hand, Israel supporters expressed gratitude to Gadot for being proud of her country, some drawing comparisons between her and Israel’s most famous model, Bar Refaeli. “You Absolutely beautiful both inside and out ! Thank u for using your status is Hollywood to take a second and show support ! Your a true star” said one comment. “Thank you for posting this! I am sure you got a lot of heat from the loud antisemitic crown. We stand with you!” wrote another. “Good on you! Bar Refaeli – learn”, another comment read.

In addition to comments, Facebook users posted photos and memes both in support of Israel and Gaza.