Hollywood star Richard Gere has lashed out at Israel over its settlements in territory that Palestinians want for a state.

The Pretty Woman star was in Jerusalem for the premiere of a new film by Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar in which he stars.

Gere was quoted in the Haaretz newspaper as saying “settlements are such an absurd provocation … and they are certainly not part of the program of someone who wants a genuine peace process”.

The international community mostly views settlements as an obstacle to creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel in territory it captured in the 1967 war.

Israel says settlements along with other core issues like security should be resolved in peace talks.