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Israeli Performers Boycott Settlement Theaters

A group of Israeli actors, writers and directors is vowing not to perform in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

More than 50 members of Israel's theater community have signed a petition to boycott performances at a state-funded theater in the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that the Israeli government does not need to provide funding to the performers taking part in the boycott.

Mr. Netanyahu said the performers' actions play into the hands of international efforts to delegitimize Israel with economic and cultural boycotts.

The protest comes as Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to meet in Washington this week to resume stalled Middle East peace talks.

Both Israelis and Palestinians say they hold little hope that U.S.-mediated direct talks will yield any results or make progress toward ending the decades-old conflict in the Middle East.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.