Bruno Mars Cancels Israel Show Amid Hamas Attack

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars performs on December 02, 2016 in Los Angeles. B LACROIX/WIREIMAGE

Bruno Mars’s sold-out concert in Tel Aviv on Saturday has been canceled, its promoters announced via Instagram, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country is at war. The news follows a surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, launching thousands of rockets and entering Israel by land, sea and air using paragliders, according to CNN.

The show, planned for 100,000-seat HaYarkon Park, was Mars’s second in the venue, after a Wednesday show described by the Jerusalem Post as “dazzling.” That appearance was his first-ever show in Israel, the Post noted last month. By selling out two shows in the stadium, he became “one of the most  – if not the most – successful artists to ever appear in Israel,” as other acts such as “Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, and U2” only managed to sell out “one show, not two.”

“The Hooligans made it to Israel,” Mars reportedly announced from the stage at the Oct. 4 show, a reference to his backing band.

Mars and the Hooligans were expected to return to the HaYarkon stage Saturday night, for a show added after tickets for Wednesday’s show swiftly sold out. That plan changed, however, when in a surprise early-morning attack Saturday, Hamas militants sent soldiers and missiles into Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. As of publication time, 100 have been killed in the incursion, the Associated Press reports, a number that’s expected to rise but already makes Saturday “one of the deadliest days in Israel’s 75-year history.”

“We are at war,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address to the nation on Saturday. “Not an ‘operation,’ not a ‘round,’ but at war.”

It’s unclear if Mars is currently in Israel. Concert promoter Live Nation had previously announced that ”the artist and his managers are being kept informed on the unfolding situation and waiting for instructions,” the Times of Israel reports. But as the fighting continued, Live Nation announced via Instagram that the show had been canceled.

“All ticket purchases to the show will receive an automatic refund to the credit card through which the purchase was made,” the promoters announced in a post written in Hebrew and automatically translated by Meta. “We stand with the residents of Israel, IDF fighters, and the security forces in these difficult moments.”

As of publication time, Mars has not publicly addressed the cancelation. His most recent post, from two days ago, shows him addressing the crowd from the HaYarkon stage.

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