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Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo, famously known for his portrayal of the Hulk in the Avengers franchise and lauded for his stand against Israeli violence towards Palestinians, has disappointed several fans by backtracking on his earlier statements. The actor took to Twitter to apologise for calling the Israeli massacre of unarmed Palestinians a “genocide”. He claimed that his opinions were uninformed and inflammatory.

He wrote, "I have reflected and wanted to apologise for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’.” Ruffalo added, "It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful and is being used to justify antisemitism here and abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole."

Twitter users were quick to react to his statement, whilst also calling him out for retracting his previous statements. One wrote, “You should tell the families of the 200+ murdered Palestinians in Gaza that were declared enemy combatants in the latest IDF propaganda that their occupiers aren’t actually committing ethnic cleansing when the “mowed the lawn” last week.”

Another tweeted, “You know what’s inflammatory? Dropping bombs on civilians (with no way out) and killing 200+ including 66 children buried in rubble with thousands injured in 11 days. But yeah, let’s apologize for calling a spade a spade.”

Clarifying that the violence on Israel’s part does indeed qualify as genocide, a user tweeted, “As an attorney, I have long avoided calling it genocide. No longer. Israel’s policies fit the legal definition, but as with any crime, there is the element of intent that must be proven. For that, there are plenty of statements from Israeli officials. Not hyperbole.”

Ruffalo’s tweet comes after several celebrities, including hotel heiress Paris Hilton and model Bella Hadid chose to alter their stance on the violence to appear neutral. The actor has a history of supporting Palestinian rights, with his change in statements leading many to believe his decision came as a result of a loss of opportunities in Hollywood.

On the onset of the recent violence, the actor had tweeted, “1500 Palestinians face expulsion in #Jerusalem. 200 protesters have been injured. Nine children have been killed. Sanctions on South Africa helped free its black people – it’s time for sanctions on Israel to free Palestinians. Join the call. #SheikhJarrah.”

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