JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Palestinian Authority canceled the Miss Palestine beauty pageant.
The PA said it postponed the Dec. 26 event in Ramallah indefinitely because it coincides with the anniversary of the start of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the Palestinian Ma’an News Service reported Monday.
The announcement earlier this month of the pageant, sponsored by the Trip Fashion Company, drew the ire of Hamas and other fundamentalist Islamic organizations.
Some 58 Palestinian women from the West Bank and inside Israel were to compete by modeling four dresses — but not swimsuits, in deference to Muslim sensibilities. Some of the judges were to come from the Palestinian Authority’s information and culture ministries.
The contest was not affiliated with any international pageants.