Palestinians threaten to pull Dead Sea from contest


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian officials have threatened to withdraw from a competition to name the Dead Sea a world natural wonder.

The Dead Sea cannot be entered into the New Seven Wonders of Nature competition unless Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan all agree to take part.

Palestinian Authority Tourism Minister Khouloud Daibes sent an official letter to Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov saying the Palestinian Authority objects to "promoting the Dead Sea in the competition, alongside products like Ahava, which are produced illegally in the Israeli settlement on occupied Palestinian lands," Ynet reported Wednesday.

Ahava produces lotions and bath crystals using Dead Sea minerals.

In July, the Dead Sea was among 28 sites named as finalists in the  competition. The announcement came after PA President Mahmoud Abba signed a letter agreeing that the Dead Sea could be submitted jointly by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

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