Miss Universe contestants tour Jerusalem
Miss Universe contestants tour Jerusalem Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

A group of women is protesting Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked's (Yamina) decision to allow Miss Universe contestants into Israel while other foreigners, including the protesters' parents, are barred from entering.

The women participating in the protest are immigrants, whose parents are not Israeli citizens. Their parents were refused entry even though they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as part of the emergency measures enacted this week to prevent the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

According to the women, their parents had booked tickets to Israel in order to provide their daughters with assistance and support during their upcoming births.

In a video clip prepared by the women, one of the protestants can be heard saying: "Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has approved the entry to Israel of models from around the world, to participate in the Miss Universe contest, but she refuses to approve the entry of my vaccinated parents so that they can help me after I give birth."

The video clip then shows each pregnant woman in turn, each of whom asks, in Hebrew or English, "My mother is also pretty. Can she come to my birth now?"

"I came to Israel alone, and I request that my vaccinated parents be approved entry so they can help me. Minister Shaked, my mother is also pretty - can she come to my birth now?"

This is the first time Israel is hosting the Miss Universe contest, which includes contestants from 90 countries around the world. In addition to the contestants themselves, 300 television and news staff will be covering the event, which is scheduled to take place in another 10 days in the southern city of Eilat.

All participants have arrived early to enable them to quarantine for the full period, and precautions are being taken to prevent possible transmission.

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