Actress Penélope Cruz has clarified her comments on Israel after penning an open letter in the Spanish press which condemned the country's on-going military action in Gaza.

The letter was signed by Cruz, her husband Javier Bardem, director Pedro Almodóvar, and many others from the Spanish film world.

Their letter drew attention to the "physical, moral, psychological" suffering of Palestinians resulting from Israel's bombardment of Gaza. The letter also requested that the EU condemn Israel's actions.

Cruz has now qualified her involvement. Speaking to USA Today, she said: "I don't want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it.

"My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border.

"I wish for unity, and peace . . . I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side."

Bardem, however, is unequivocal about his sympathies for Palestinians. Writing in Spanish newspaper El Diario, he says: "I cannot understand this barbarism, even more brutal and incomprehensible considering all of the horrible things the Jewish people have gone through in the past."