Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

PHOTOS: Running between the walls in the Palestine Marathon

Palestinian and international runners criss-crossed the West Bank town of Bethlehem under the banner of ‘Right to Movement.’

Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org

Runners pass the Israeli Separation Wall dividing the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. Some 3,200 Palestinian and international runners participated in 10K, half marathon and full marathon races under the title “Right to Movement”. Full marathon 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 in the area.

Runners pass the Israeli Separation Wall dividing the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. Some 3,200 Palestinian and international runners participated in 10K, half marathon and full marathon races under the title “Right to Movement”. Full marathon 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 in the area.

Under the theme “Right to Movement,” about 3,200 participants from all over Palestine—and more than 50 countries around the world—joined the third annual Palestine International Marathon on Friday, which took place in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

[tmwinpost]

The marathon aimed to highlight the restriction of Palestinian movement under Israeli military occupation. The route also included Aida refugee camp, where hundreds of Palestinians have lived since the Nakba, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, before, during and after the 1948 war.Palestinians and internationals of all ages competed in either 10K, half marathon or full marathon versions of the race. Like every year, runners had to complete two laps of the same route, since organizers were unable to find a single course of 42 uninterrupted kilometers under Palestinian Authority control in the city, which is surrounded by the separation wall, checkpoints and Israeli settlements.

Ali Sami, a Palestinian participant, said: “I am happy to see people from around the world here in solidarity with Palestine. It is unique to see this number of internationals at such a local event.”

“It’s good to run for Palestine,” said one Spanish participant. “Every time I see the wall I feel trouble, but I am amazed today to see hope in the Palestinians’ eyes while running around their city.”

Participants warm up before the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Participants warm up before the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian participant releases a dove carrying a piece of paper that reads "Back to Jaffa" as a symbol of the right of return at the start of the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

A Palestinian participant releases a dove carrying a piece of paper that reads ‘Back to Jaffa,’ as a symbol of the Palestinian right of return at the start of the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Runners cross the start line in Bethlehem’s Manger Square during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Runners cross the start line in Bethlehem’s Manger Square during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Spectators stand in front of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity Manger Square during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Supporters, both Palestinian and international, stand in front of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in Manger Square during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian and international runners pass through Aida Refugee Camp during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Palestinian and international runners pass through Aida refugee camp during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Runners pass graffiti on the Israeli Separation Wall dividing the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Runners pass graffiti on the Israeli separation wall dividing the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian and international competitors run along Bethlehem's Manger Street during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Palestinian and international competitors run along Bethlehem’s Manger Street during the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Runners race along the Israeli separation wall dividing the West Bank city of Bethlehem in the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Runners run along the Israeli separation wall, which divides the West Bank city of Bethlehem, during the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

A participant shows off his olive-wood participants’ medals following the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

A participant shows off his olive-wood medals following the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

 

Brazilian and Palestinian winners celebrate following the third annual Palestine Marathon, March 27, 2015.

Brazilian and Palestinian winners celebrate following the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank, March 27, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

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.

  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Pedro X

      Palestinian Rejectionism Runs Amok:

      “A Palestinian participant releases a dove carrying a piece of paper that reads ‘Back to Jaffa,’ as a symbol of the Palestinian right of return at the start of the third annual Palestine Marathon, Bethlehem, West Bank”

      A dove is usually a symbol of peace. Yet this dove with its message is actually symbolic that Palestinians do not seek a two state solution, a nation state for Israeli Jews and a nation state for the Palestinian Arabs, living beside each other in peace. Arab Palestinians seek the destruction of the Jewish state by allowing Arabs to over run Israel. Hamas openly calls for Israel’s destruction and a genocide of the Jews. Fatah, the PA and its supporters in the West Bank refuse to acknowledge the existence of a Jewish state on any portion of former Mandate Palestine and seek to destroy Israel by the wrong of return.

      This Arab fantasy of over running Israel and populating it with Palestinian Arabs has kept it from establishing and building a viable state of its own. Hamas and the PA rule Palestinians and deny basic human rights to their own people. Corruption, nepotism, violence, poor delivery of governmental services, and repression of freedom of speech, assembly and association, is the daily reality of life in Gaza and the West Bank. Instead of reforming their own governments, Palestinians prefer to blame everything on Israel and fantasize about defeating Israel and over running it with Palestinians.

      It is no wonder that Israel needs a separation barrier to keep out some Palestinians who dearest desire is to destroy Israel and kill Jews. Many in Israel, especially those in Gilo, will remember that before the separation barrier was built, Palestinian snipers in Bethlehem and Beit Jala shot at Israeli civilians as if Gilo was a shooting gallery and Jerusalem a bomb testing range. If Palestinians ever stop running from the truth, they would realize that the separation barrier was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorism.

      BTW The Palestinian Propaganda Marathon only attracted 3,200 participants while the Jerusalem Marathon had 25,000 participants and Tel Aviv about 30,000.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        More sickening double standards from Zionism. It is entirely worthy and to be applauded that “the Jewish nation” should have retained ambitions of returning to a land which some of their ancestors may have left two thousand years ago, but it is completely unforgivable that the Palestinian nation have an impossible dream of returning to a land from which they were ethnically cleansed only one, two or three generations ago! How does that have any logic? On top of this bear in mind that the infant Jewish state, in its application to join the UN specifically undertook to resolve the refugee problem by undertaking to implement UN General Assembly resolution 194, and that international law (e.g. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the Geneva Conventions, 1949, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, 1976, and General Assembly Resolutions 194, 242 and 3236) insists on a Right of Return.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Sticky Rice

      What’s the difference between pygmies and the participants in this marathon?

      Pygmies are a bunch of cunning runts.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        That’s a really impressive, intelligent and cultured statement there, Sticky. It takes a lot of talent to pack racism, misogynism, stupidity, creepiness and all around assh*lism into six words. You have a real future ahead of you. You’ll go far. We really look up to you and it makes us admire the right wing here so much more. Thanks.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Dee

      What an inspiration! Drawing attention to the occupation by doing something very positive

      Reply to Comment
    4. Joel Cantor

      As Pedro says, that PLO person releasing a dove carrying the warning “Back to Jaffa” is the CORE REASON why the wall was built. Ie to Stop PLO murderers killing Israelis while fulfilling their holy “Right of Invasion”.

      No Recognition of Israel = No Justice = No Peace

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        As Pedro and Joel know perfectly well the wall was not built to stop terrorists but to take land and to protect and extend illegal Israeli settlements. If the wall had been built to stop ongoing terrorism it would have been completed, which it hasn’t, because the Palestinians long ago rejected the tactic of suicide bombing, which was often a response to Israel’s brutal suppression of the Second Intifada, which began largely peacefully. Those who still hold ambitions to return to their homes include many many peace-loving people who do not wish to destroy Israel or Israelis, but simply to return to their homes.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Norah

      Did you know that it is possible to walk around the wall, and that there are doors in the walls at some places too? As I was visiting as a tourist a short time ago I came through one. Plenty of Palestinians are forced to travel beyond their villages and cities for work or education, regularly without permission from the IDF, and they get in serious trouble when caught; I took a stroll on both sides of the wall freely and safely because I was only passer-by, a foreigner and tourist. Also, there are plenty of Palestinians actually living in Jerusalem or other places under complete Israeli control.
      I don’t really see how a decrease in suicide bombing could have been related to the building of walls. It’s not as if the concrete decreased the amount of reasons for despair.

      Reply to Comment
© 2010 - 2017 +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 powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel