Kuwait bans 'Death on the Nile' movie casting Israeli actress

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kuwait's Ministry of Information (file photo)

Kuwait has banned the screening of American movie Death on the Nile, adapted from a namesake novel by Agatha Christie and starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, authorities say.

Spokeswoman for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information, Anouar Mourad, said Sunday that cinemagoers in Kuwait will not be able to watch the film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, just days before the movie was set to be released in the country, confirming press reports.

She said the decision was made in part due to Gadot’s status as a “former soldier in the occupying army.” Gadot served her mandatory service in the Israeli army. She has frequently come under criticism on social media.

In 2017, Kuwait also banned Wonder Woman, in which Gadot played the leading role. At the time, the ministry cited her Israeli citizenship as grounds for preventing the movie from being screened.

Earlier in the day, the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas, reported that the decision was made following demands on social media for the film to be boycotted due to Gadot’s praise of the Israeli army’s offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014 and her criticism of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The devastating war resulted in the death of at least 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians.

The Gaza Strip, home to some two million people, has been under a blockade imposed by Israel for over 14 years. The tight blockade has caused a sharp decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Israel has also launched three major wars on Gaza since 2008.

In the latest bombardment campaign, at least 260 Palestinians, including over 60 children, were killed in a time span of 11 days that began on May 10, 2021. The Gaza-based resistance movements retaliated heavily, which took the Tel Aviv regime by surprise.

Kuwait is staunchly opposed to normalizing ties with Israel, unlike some Arab countries in the region, which have signed normalization agreements with the occupying regime in recent years.

In May last year, Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved bills that outlaw any deals or normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

On August 18, 2020, 37 Kuwaiti lawmakers called on their government to reject a normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Anti-Israeli sentiments run high in Kuwait. A poll conducted in 2019 by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank, showed that 85 percent of Kuwaitis oppose normalizing ties with Israel.

Back in September 2020, the United Aram Emirates and Bahrain signed normalization deals with Israel. Morocco and Sudan later signed similar agreements with the Israeli regime as well.

The so-called Abraham Accords were pushed by the US under former president, Donald Trump.

Palestinians have denounced the normalization deals, describing them as a “stab in the back” and a “betrayal” to their cause.

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