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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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This selfie of Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon sparked a Mideast drama

Miss Lebanon said Miss Israel jumped in and took a photo with her, though she had been trying to avoid her.

Image: Doron Matalon via Instagram

A SEEMINGLY INNOCUOUS selfie at the Miss Universe pageant has sparked criticism in Lebanon because it featured a smiling Miss Lebanon beside Miss Israel.

 The Israeli beauty queen, Doron Matalon, posted a picture of herself with colleagues from Japan, Slovakia and Lebanon on her Instagram account. The result? A formal Lebanese investigation into the scandal.

Lebanese Tourism Minister Michel Pharon told The Associated Press that “if there was bad intentions” from Saly Greige, measures could be taken against her. In her defence, Miss Lebanon says she was photobombed.

On her Facebook page, Greige said:

To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me) … I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media…this is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest.

Matalon said she was saddened by the reaction.

- With reporting from Associated Press.

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