Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

PHOTOS: First Palestine Marathon runs between walls in Bethlehem

Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org; Text by Haggai Matar and Michael Omer-Man

Runners race along the Israeli separation wall as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the banner “Right to Movement,” runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 42 kilometers (26 miles) long (in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority). The marathon took place in spite of harsh and untypical weather conditions and the winner was Abdel Nasser Awajneh, a Palestinian man from Jericho.

Palestinians “do not have a state, and their lands are controlled by a foreign army – that army controls their movement with roadblocks, checkpoints, military zones, an illegal wall and a complex set of discriminatory laws,” the marathon organizers explained in a statement. “The EU and the U.S. talk about a two-state solution, an independent Palestine – but we cannot find the 42 kilometers needed for a marathon. Not 42 kilometers of an area, which [is] supposed to be an independent state [that is] controlled by the Palestinian themselves.”

Around half of the 500 participants were Palestinians, the rest foreigners, AFP reported. Only 100 ran the full marathon.

As reported last week on +972, 26 runners from the Gaza Strip were denied permission to enter the West Bank in order to run in the race.

A runner wearing a t-shirt supporting Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi passes Palestinian Authority police as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

Runners race along the Israeli separation wall as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

A Palestinian girl runs barefoot on rain-drenched streets as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

A young woman runs past the slogans “Free Palestine” and “Hope” painted on the Israeli separation wall as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

A pair of international competitors hold hands as they near the finish line in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

A runner rejoices at the finish line as hundreds of Palestinian and international athletes took part in the the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

 

Palestinian young men perform a traditional dabke dance to celebrate their completion of the inaugural Palestine Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, West Bank, April 21, 2013. Under the title “Right to Movement”, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, as organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

  • COMMENTS

    1. rsgengland

      The Palestinians do not have a state.
      The Palestinians should have new elections to replace their “past its sell by date” administrations.
      Then it they should state in unambiguous terms what it demands for refugees, land and independence.
      Israel must do the same for the Arab Jewish refugees, land and security.
      Then they must both sit down and negotiate.
      Then maybe The Palestinians will have a country.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        As it seems from here, Palestinian Arabs are going to have two countries, imposed on them.

        Indeed, why would anyone ask opinion of people who decline to have a state for nearly a century?

        Reply to Comment
    2. Richard Witty

      A wonderful event.

      Congratulations to the winners, and all that participated.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Tom

      Why was this wall built? I don’t understand? Who is using who? Jails have walls. Who is in jail? More to the point who conceived the wall and thought it would solve a problem? Someone has rocks in their heads. For goodness sake find what is common and good and work together . Get rid of the wall please. Your kids deserve it.

      Reply to Comment

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel