Greige explained the situation on her Facebook page, saying she had been trying to avoid communicating with and taking a photo with Miss Israel since arriving at the competition, but while she “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.” Greige said she hoped she would still have the support of the Lebanese people.

Matalon was less apologetic. She posted an article about the photo and re-posted the photo Sunday, saying the situation “doesn’t surprise me but it still makes me sad.” Matalon said she wished “hostility” could be forgotten for the three-week duration of the competition so that “we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country.” Miss Israel served two years in the Israeli Defense Forces, according to her profile on the Miss Universe website.