British television presenter Simon Cowell has backed out of judging The X Factor Israel, the network that airs the talent show confirmed.
A Reshet representative told Variety on Sunday that Cowell canceled “for his own reasons” and because of “legitimate concerns,” but did not elaborate.
It is unclear whether Cowell will have any part in the production of the show, which will tape its fourth season this summer.
The news broke as violence has increased between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Cowell is also recovering from a broken back. He was injured in a bicycle riding mishap last summer.
The Jewish News cited an unnamed source close to Cowell as saying: “Simon won’t be going to Israel after all. I know it has already been announced that he was one of the judges, but for a number of reasons he just can’t be there in Israel to film the show now. Of course, he is bitterly disappointed — but it was a decision he had to take.”
Cowell has not publicly addressed the matter, and The Wrap and TMZ said he and his representatives have not responded to a request for comment.